By Sterling Professor of the Humanities Harold Bloom

'Night', a memoir by means of focus camp survivor and Nobel Peace Prize winner Elie Wiesel, is a key paintings of Holocaust literature. This examine consultant to Wiesel's tale additionally positive factors an annotated bibliography and an creation by means of literary student Harold Bloom.

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Extra resources for Elie Wiesel's Night (Bloom's Guides)

Sample text

53 Critical Views Alfred Kazin Reviews the First Edition of the English Translation Of all the crimes by the Nazis, surely the most unforgivable is the internment and murder of so many children. It has been calculated that a million Jewish children perished during the war. Yet many children managed to survive years in the death camps, and now, only in their late twenties and early thirties, have turned out to be the most effective personal historians of life under the Nazis. This is the generation of Anne Frank (who would now have been thirty-one), and the young Spaniard Michel del Castillo, who in that unforgettable memoir A Child of Our Time described what it was like to be a child in Buchenwald.

33 As much as Night is a representation of the world of the death camps, it is also a reflection of one of the incarcerated. The death camps were attached to slave-labor camps. A prisoner’s physical strength and capacity to do work determined his fate. The weak were incinerated immediately. Those strong enough were worked until they were depleted and then consigned to the furnaces. As the new prisoners were rushed from the showers to the next barracks, Wiesel describes the work he saw other inmates performing, digging holes and carrying sand.

Wiesel’s narrative strategy throughout Night, what makes it a compelling experience for readers, is that he reinserts himself into Auschwitz, relives it, undergoes it again, rather 47 than only reporting it from a safe distance, as if to say there can be no distance, nor any safety in distance. ” He runs naked before Mengele, so fast that he cannot see if his number is recorded or not, transcribing for the reader the anxious thoughts that flew through his mind as he rushed past the Angel of Death.

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