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Summary of the Book:
Night is an autobiography written by Elie Wiesel. It describes the terrifying and horrific events of the Holocaust. Elie Wiesel was born in the Jewish town of Sighet, Transylvania. He lived with his father, mother and four sisters. Elie was very religious and studied daily with the help of his friend and mentor, Moishe the Beadle. As news of the war approaches Elie’s small town, the Jews refuse to believe that the war could affect them. Even after several warnings Elie’s family still does not get the hint that they could be in serious danger. Before the people of Sighet realize it, their town is invaded by the Germans, who drive them all into ghettos. A few days pass and Elie’s town is liquefied, and the Jews, including Elie and his family, are transported to concentration camps. There, Elie sees the last of his mother and sisters, while he and his father are chosen to become workers. Hours pass and the Jews are stripped of their identities and human qualities. Elie is forced to witness ruthless beatings of his father and cruel treatment of his fellow Jews. Pretty soon he questions God and wonders why God would let such terrible events occur. Day after day and night after night, Elie and his father work at the camps where they can only dream of being freed. Elie’s struggle to survive becomes even worse when his father dies. He is forced to move on and to continue the fight to stay alive. Eventually, Elie is freed from the harshness and severity of the concentration camps, but he is never freed from the memories of the Holocaust and how it changed his life forever.


Description of Major Characters:

Elie Wiesel: Elie is the main character of Night and he changes drastically because of all the terrible events he experiences. His relationship with God becomes weaker and the bond between him and his father starts to fade. But, Elie survives to tell the tale, meaning he was emotionally and physically strong and brave. He tried so hard to not give up and was incredibly kind and caring to his father.
Shlomo Wiesel (Elie’s father): Shlomo was a very important man in Elie’s life because Elie may not have lived if he had not had his father there to encourage and support him. Shlomo loved his son very much and he did everything he could to protect him. Although some of his decisions were not the best, he did what he thought was best for his family. He was very strong and determined for his age. Shlomo was a great father to Elie and it is unfortunate that he did not live to see the end of the Holocaust.
Moishe the Beadle:
Moishe the Beadle is a character in Night who does not have the biggest role, but has a very significant role. At the beginning of Elie’s story, Moishe is introduced as a character that is shy but kind and stays out of people’s way. Later, Elie befriends Moishe when Moishe helps him study and pray. Moishe also acted as a warning sign to the Jews. He was the first to be sent to the concentration camps and when he escaped he came back to Sighet, hoping to tell the Jews of his horrifying experience. But, no one listened to him and he felt foolish about ever wanting to come back to his town.

Likes/Dislikes:

I enjoyed reading Night because it made the Holocaust seem so much more real to me. Reading someone’s story and realizing that they will always have those terrible memories inside them really impacted me. I liked learning more about the Holocaust, even though everything I learned was so sad and scary. Night was very interesting most of the time, but there were a few parts that were a bit dull. I also did not like the fact that the autobiography was so sad, because sad books and memoirs are not my favorite. Overall, I enjoyed reading Night and was amazed that Elie lived to tell his story.

What can we learn from reading this book?

Night is packed with several small lessons that can greatly impact our lives. It teaches us what it means to be human and how quickly people can go from being human to being the most savage creatures on earth. We can also learn what causes persecution and how terrible it is. After reading Night, I realized that being human is not so much about how you act or what you say, it is about having an identity. Without an identity you are a nobody, a nobody with nothing left to live. Elie’s identity was taken from him, making him a nobody and dehumanizing him. Most times dehumanization is caused by persecution, and persecution is a result of many things. Jealousy, hatred and differences can all cause a person or a group of people to be persecuted. In Elie’s case, he and his family were different because they were Jews. Because of their religion, they were all persecuted and became nothing but an empty corpse.

Answers to Essential Questions:

What are the root causes of persecution? There are many causes of persecution. Sometimes simply hating someone is enough of an excuse to start persecuting them. That hatred can be caused by jealousy, lack of agreement, or differences. Another possible cause of persecution could be the need to feel powerful. If someone feels like they need power, they might think persecuting others will give them authority. But, whatever the cause, persecution is a terrible thing that should be avoided as much as possible.
What are some current examples of persecution that take place in today’s world? Unfortunately, there are still examples of persecution today. People are being persecuted because of their beliefs, especially their religious beliefs. Others may be persecuted because they have a different skin color or they support those who are different. Some example of persecution may be well-known and other examples might not be known to anyone, but persecution is persecution, no matter how intense it is, and it comes with such terrible consequences.
What does Night teach us about what it means to be human? Night teaches us that being human means having an identity. Without an identity, Elie became lost, he became nothing. Night lets us grasp that importance of having an identity because it describes how Elie soon lost his human qualities shortly after he lost his identity. It is amazing how much we take having an identity for granted. I think that in order to fully appreciate having an identity, you have to have it taken from you, and then work to get it back.
Persecution around the World Page:
Night Literary Analysis Essay:



Reflections on Essay:
What did I learn from this writing assignment?This assignment taught me how to use coherence to incorporate quotes into my paragraphs better. I also learned that quotes from the autobiography and secondary sources are great ways to back up your main point, or thesis statement. Knowing how to cite sources and how to give credits to the authors of those sources will help me tremendously in my future essays.
What did I do well on in this unit?In this assignment I think I did well on supporting my statements with examples and quotes from the book. I also think that my introduction paragraph and thesis statement were really strong, which made it easier to find examples for support. I felt really comfortable and knowledgeable about my topic so that helped me write a better essay.
What areas could I improve on?
I think that in this assignment, I could have done better on checking for small grammatical and spelling errors. If I would have taken more time to proofread my essay, I think my grade would have been higher. Also, my organization was not the best it could have been. I should have thought about rewriting a few sentences and reorganizing my paragraphs more so that my essay would flow better.