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Important Quotes from Night by Elie Wiesel

written by: Trent Lorcher • edited by: SForsyth • updated: 2/17/2012

The entire narrative of Night serves an important purpose--a reminder to stop evil through awareness and vigilance. These specific quotes were chosen as representative of the themes of the memoir.

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    Use these Night quotes as a reminder to thwart prejudice, racism, hatred, and discrimination, for they are the seeds of human rights violations.

    Quote: Never shall I forget that night, the first night in camp, which has turned my life into one long night, seven times cursed and seven times sealed. Never shall I forget that smoke. Never shall I forget the little faces of the children, whose bodies I saw turned into wreaths of smoke beneath a silent blue sky.

    Analysis: As Eliezer arrives at Auschwitz he is greeted by his first selection. He and his father follow the line that passes a pit of burning babies. It is difficult for even the most hardened reader not to wince at this passage; it stands out as the most horrible atrocity in a chronical of horrible atrocities.

    Wiesel writes three times in this passage "Never shall I forget." He uses anaphora, a poetic device that involves the repetition of a word or phrase at the beginning of clauses, to highlight the novel's major theme--to never forget.

    Quote: Never shall I forget those flames which consumed my faith forever. Never shall I forget that nocturnal silence which deprived me, for all eternity, of the desire to live. Never shall I forget those moments which murdered my God and my soul and turned my dreams to dust. Never shall I forget these things, even if I am condemned to live as long as God Himself. Never.

    Analysis: A continuation of the first quote in this section, the phrase "Never shall I forget" is repeated four more times. This section of the passage highlights another major theme of the novel--the struggle to maintain faith in a world full of evil.

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    Quote: One day I was able to get up, after gathering all my strength. I wanted to see myself in the mirror hanging on the opposite wall. I had not seen myself since the ghetto. From the depths of the mirror, a corpse gazed back at me. The look in his eyes, as they stared into mine, has never left me.

    Analysis: The narrative's last lines leaves the reader with a sense of hopelessness. Eliezer views himself as dead; innocence is dead; humanity is dead; God is dead. It is important not to confuse the narrator with the author. Elie Wiesel, the older version of Eliezer, the death camp survivor, has dedicated his life to serving mankind and to prevent human rights atrocities, showing the world that humankind is capable of goodness, notwithstanding its inherent evil. For more on Wiesel's life after his liberation, check out his website.

    Quote: The night was gone. The morning star was shining in the sky. I too had become a completely different person. The student of the Talmud, the child that I was, had been consumed in the flames... A dark flame had entered my soul and devoured it.

    Analysis: Wiesel uses parallel structure--the like grammatical structure of adjacent phrases or clauses that signify equality of importance--to draw attention to the two things which died: his faith and his childhood.

    Quote: Yet another last night. The last night at home, the last night in the ghetto, the last night in the train, the last night in Buna.

    Analysis: The repetition of "the last night" emphasizes death, not just the death of his fellow prisoners, but the death of humanity.

References

  • Wiesel, Elie. Night. New York: Hill and Wang. 2006.