Section One (13 – 31)
1. The themes of the passage below can be “silence” and “religion.”
“…He [Moishe the Beadle] explained to me, with great emphasis, that every question possessed a power that was lost in the answer…Man comes closer to God through the questions he asks Him, he liked to say. Therein lays true dialogue. Man asks and God replies. But we don’t understand His replies. We cannot understand them” (15).
How will these themes be revisited throughout the memoir?
2. How does the community react to foreign Jews needing to leave Sighet? (16)
3. Describe what happens to Moishe the Beadle while he is expelled (kicked out) from Sighet. (16)
4. How has Moishe’s character changed after being expelled from Sighet? (17)
5. How did the people of Sighet react to Moishe’s stories of the forest? (17)
6. What does Wiesel mean when he states: “The Germans were already in the town, the Fascists were already in power, the verdict had already been pronounced, yet the Jews of Sighet continued to smile” (19).
7. Why is the Jewish community not afraid after they are transferred to the two ghettos? (21)
8. Why is important that Wiesel says: “It was from that moment that I began to hate them, and my hate is still the only link between us today. They were our first oppressors. They were the first of the faces of hell and death” (28-29)?
Homework: Read Night (32 – 54) and answer the following questions located at djyostenglish.pbworks.com (The writing lab is open at lunch and open until 4:30 pm every day!)
Section Two (32 – 37)
- How does Wiesel establish the mood at the beginning of this section?
- How do the men and women explain Mrs. Schachter’s visions?
- How does Wiesel use foreshadowing in the story of Mrs. Schachter?
- How does the sentence structure in the final passage of Section Two reflect Wiesel’s emotion as they reach Birkenau: “In front of us flames. In the air that smell of burning flesh. It must have been about midnight. We had arrived—at Birkenau, reception center for Auschwitz” (37)?
- The deportees have arrived at Auschwitz after their train ride. A few men were able to leave the train and come back with news about their fate. Explain the mood (state or quality of feeling) in this passage: “When they came back, they told us that they had learned, in exchange for a gold watch, that this was the final destination. We were to leave the train here. There was a labor camp on the site. The conditions were good. Families would not be separated. Only the young would work in the factories. The old and the sick would find work in the fields” ( 35-36).
Section Three (38-54)
Choose 10 questions to answer. Make sure you write the question and answer in complete sentences.
- How is it important that Eliezer says, “The cherished objects we had brought with us thus far were left behind in the train, and with them, at last, our illusions” (38)?
- Read the last paragraph on page 38. How does this paragraph portray foreshadowing?
“Eight words spoken quietly, indifferently, without emotion. Eight short, simple words. Yet that was the moment when I parted from my mother. I had not had time to think, but already I felt the pressure of my father’s hand: we were alone. For a part of a second I glimpsed my mother and my sisters moving away to the right. Tzipora held Mother’s hand. I saw them disappear in to the distance; my mother was stroking my sister’s fair hair, as thought to protect her, while I walked on with my father and the other men. And I did not know that in that place, at that moment, I was parting from my mother and Tzipora forever. I went on walking. My father held onto my hand” (38-39).
- Why do you think Wiesel does not have a lot of imagery in this paragraph? (38)
- What is the name of the first camp to which Elie and his father arrive? (39-
- Why are the prisoners angry when Elie and this father get to the camp? (39-40)
- How is Dr. Mengele described? (40-41)
- Explain Elie’s internal conflict on page 41.
- Using the following quote, explain how Elie has changed: “For the first time, I felt revolt rise up in me. Why should I bless His name? The Eternal, Lord of the Universe, the All-Powerful and Terrible, was silent. What had I to thank Him for?” (42)
- What is the importance of the repetition found on page 43? (“Never shall I forget that night…Never shall I forget these things…Never.”)
- Describe the process of new prisoners (43-45).
- List words that have a negative connotation on page 47.
- Define “barracks.”
- Who is in charge of Elie and his father’s barracks? (48)
- Elie’s father “was suddenly seized with colic” (48). Define colic.
- What is Elie’s constant concern in this section?
- How does Wiesel feel after being in the camp for one day? (46)
- What is written on the iron gate of Auschwitz? How is it ironic? (49)
- How does Elie compare Birkenau with Auschwitz? (49)
- Analyze the imagery in the following line: “We were withered trees in the heart of the desert.”