1. As Night
begins, Eliezer is so moved by faith that he weeps when he prays. He is also searching for a deeper understanding of the mystical teachings of the Kabbalah. How does Eliezer's relationship with his faith and with God change as the book progresses?
2. What literal and symbolic meanings does "night" have in the book?
3. Early in the book, after Moishe the Beadle escapes his execution, no one, not even Eliezer, believes his tales (p. 7)
. Even when the Germans arrive in Sighet and move all the Jews into ghettos, the Jewish townspeople seem to ignore or suppress their fears. "Most people thought that we would remain in the ghetto until the end of the war, until the arrival of the Red Army. Afterward everything would be as before" (p. 12). What might be the reasons for the townspeople's widespread denial of the evidence facing them?
4. Think of the kapos
and the little blonde pipel
who is hanged on page 64. Who are the bystanders? Who are the perpetrators? Who are the victims in Night
? Do these roles sometimes overlap?
5. At the end of Night
, Wiesel writes: "From the depths of the mirror, a corpse was contemplating me. The look in his eyes as he gazed at me has never left me" (p. 115). What parts of Eliezer died during his captivity? What was born in their place?
6. What scenes from Night
do you remember most vividly? Have they made you look at the world or your family differently?
7. In his 1986 Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech, Wiesel says: "[O]ne person of integrity can make a difference, a difference of life and death. As long as one dissident is in prison, our freedom will not be true. As long as one child is hungry, our life will be filled with anguish and shame. What all these victims need above all is to know that they are not alone; that we are not forgetting them, that when their voices are stifled we shall lend them ours, that while their freedom depends on ours, the quality of our freedom depends on theirs
" (p. 120). How has Elie Wiesel
fulfilled this purpose with this book? How does this statement make you feel about your place in the world?Reading Questions for FamiliesReading Questions for StudentsSee Oprah's one-on-one with Elie Wiesel.