Night Discussion Questions
1. In the first few pages of the book, Eliezer describes his family: He goes to school, he has three sisters, and his parents run a shop. How is his life similar to yours? How is it different?
2. While Nazi terror is only a rumor or distant threat, Eliezer's father chooses to remain in Sighet. Once they are forced into the ghetto, Eliezer's father tells his older children that they can go live with their former maid in her village, but that he will stay in the ghetto with their mother and little sister. Eliezer says, "Naturally, we refused to be separated" (p. 20). Can you sympathize with their choice? What would it feel like for a family to have to choose to leave their home or separate from each other? Are there places in the world where families are faced with this decision now?
3. As their world becomes increasingly cruel, what do the small moments of kindness, like an extra piece of bread or a shared prayer, mean to Eliezer and his father at Auschwitz?
4. When Eliezer sees his father being beaten with an iron bar, he keeps silent and thinks of "stealing away" so he won't have to watch what's happening (p. 54). Instead of directing his anger at the Kapo, he becomes mad at his father. What do you think is really going on inside of Eliezer? Who is he really mad at?
5. Early in the book, Eliezer says his father "rarely displayed his feelings, not even within his family, and was more involved in the welfare of others than with that of his own kin" (p. 4). When they begin the march to the small ghetto, Eliezer sees his father cry for the first time (p. 19). In what ways does the Holocaust change their relationship?
6. Did reading Night make you look at the world and your family differently? How is the Holocaust similar to other atrocities you've studied in your history or social studies classes at school? How does this book make you feel about the world today?
7. Who did you identify most with in Night? Who do you most admire?
Meet the author, and read Oprah's interview with Elie Wiesel.