Night by Elie Wiesel is an autobiographical novel recording Mr. Wiesel?s experiences during the World War II holocaust. As a 15 year old boy Elie was torn from his home and placed in a concentration camp. He and his father were separated from his mother and his sisters. It is believed that they were put to death in the fiery pits of Auschwitz. The entire story is one of calm historical significance while there is a slight separation between the emotional trauma of what are occurring, and the often-detached voice of the author.
The tone of the novel is greatly influenced through the fact that the story is autobiographical. There seems to be only one agenda utilized by Elie Wiesel in regards to the tone of the story as he presents the information for the readers? evaluation. The point of the story is to provide the reader an emotional link to the horror of the holocaust through the eyes of one whom experienced those horrors. Wiesel speaks with a distance that is often found in autobiographies. He presents the facts as to what he saw, thought, and felt during those long years in the camps. Wiesel, in essence, is now the same as Moshe the Beadle, one of the first Jewish deportees and the only one to return to the city to warn others. ?He told his story and that of his companions,” (page 4, 5th paragraph). Elie has become Moshe. He tells his story, not for himself for he has already experienced the horrors, but to make sure that people are aware of what has happened, and so that it never happens again.
The mood of Night is harder to interpret. Many different responses have occurred in readers after their perusal of this novel. Those that doubt the stories of the holocaust?s reality see Night as lies and propaganda designed to further the myth of the holocaust. Yet, for those people believing in the reality, the feelings proffered by the book are quite different. Many feel outrage at the extent of human maliciousness towards other humans. Others experience pity for the loss of family, friends, and self that is felt by the holocaust victims. Some encounter disgust as the realization occurs that if any one opportunity had been utilized the horror could of been avoided. Those missed moments such as fleeing when first warned by Moshe the Beadle, or unblocking the window when the Hungarian officer had come to warn them, would have saved lives and pain. The mood varies throughout the book, just as the emotions of the author change as the story goes on. The semi-continuous emotional shifts add to the readers? susceptibility to Elie Wiesel?s message, ?never let it happen again.?
One of the main literary techniques employed by Wiesel was foreshadowing; he employs it often. That suspense leads to the horror and fascination of the reader as they wait for the foreshadowed event to occur. One prime example of foreshadowing occurs on page 9 which in parenthesis states, ?(Poor Father! Of what then did you die?).? This assertion informs the reader that Elie?s father will in fact die. The details are withheld from the reader in regards to when, where and how he dies. This adds a note of sick fascination on the part of the reader. The need to know the answers, as to when, where, and how, becomes fanatical as the book continues and the author and his father repeatedly escape death. When the death finally takes place the story climaxes. Thus, the use of foreshadowing helps Elie to build up the suspense and the fanatical need for answers in the reader.
Elie Wiesel?s detached voice in this autobiography has a lot to do with the varied moods experienced by the reader. Though most readers experience the fascination with the death of Elie?s father, this seems to be one of the only common emotional links among the readers. Few other emotional draws are universally experienced with the reading of this novel. Varied emotions and beliefs about the book and its message continue to linger within those that have read the book. Yet, the message that Elie intends to convey is obvious to all, ?Never let it happen again!?