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Night





Opinions of Night

21-03-2015 12:36

The author, who is actually in the image above, said it best in the front; "Only those who experienced Auschwitz know what it was." I think we can all agree with that. But can we, the reader, understand what happened there? Can modern men and women understand that cursed universe? I'm not entirely sure. First I read it in my eighth grade history class. I was 13 years old. I change my life. Before this book my world was sun and rainbows. My biggest concern was whether a child named Ja The author, who is actually in the image above, said it best in the future; "Only those who experienced Auschwitz know what it was." I think we can all agree with that. But can we, the reader, understand what happened there? Can modern men and women understand that cursed universe? I'm not entirely sure. First I read it in my eighth grade history class. I was 13 years old. I change my life. Before this book my world was sun and rainbows. My biggest concern was whether a boy named Jason liked me or not. I got angry with my mother when she forced me to go to bed on time, I complained if I did not like what we were having dinner and I argued about what was and was not allowed to see on TV. I thought I knew about World War II. My two grandparents served in it and, therefore, my parents wanted to make sure we understood the sacrifices they made, the things they saw. I watched documentaries about it with my father, the nerd of the story, I heard the few stories that my grandfather would tell, but until that moment he had been intentionally protected from the horrors of the holocaust. I had only been told in the vaguest terms what had happened, that so many millions of people had been killed, that Hitler and his men had tried to exterminate the Jewish people. My parents wanted to avoid what exactly that meant until they thought I was mature enough to absorb it. But then I read this. And for the first time in my life I was fully aware of myself. I felt like a child, like a complete and absolute fool. What were my "problems" for? In comparison with this narrator's? How "hard" was my life compared to what it endured? What millions of people endured in a similar way? Now I understood my own insignificance in the grand scheme of things and, suddenly, the reality of the world was a crushing weight. It was not all the sun and the rainbow. It was dark. It was ugly and unforgivable. I remember that I got very angry when I finished this. I was mostly angry with the world and with humanity in general, but unfairly I gave my father a bit of that. After all, I had not prepared myself for what I found in this book. At one point, I even asked him to explain this ... something to me. He could not. Fifteen years later, my second reading of this book has impacted me as much as the first. There is a question he asked me while reading. That question, was 'How?' I'm sure 'Why?' It might seem like the most obvious option here, but I could not let myself wander through the labyrinth of rabbits, that's the question. The madness is at the end of it. So I'm left with "How?" How did this happen? How did so many average human beings contribute to this? How did the SS who work in the camps get to the point that they were physically and mentally capable of throwing live babies into flames? How could the German girls who lived at an olfactory distance from Auschwitz pass the love notes to the soldiers who made their skeletal prisoners pass? How did these same hungry prisoners manage to run 20 kilometers in the icy snow? How could the SS officers who shot them if they stopped on the first day of their death march and shouted encouragement the next? How could the German citizens near the train tracks throw bread in the prisoners' cattle wagons only to see them kill each other for that? How could humans do these things to each other? How? HOW? HOW??? Like my father, I have no answers. And that is the reason why many modern humans will never be able to understand the things that happen in this book. Absorb it, yes. Witness it, yes. Understand it? Hopefully never. I finished this at lunch today. And now I'm sitting in my cubicle, looking at my neighbors and wondering if they are capable of this kind of depravity. It's me. What would I do to survive? Would I beat my own father to death for the bread in his hand? I hope to God that none of us has to find the answers to these questions. If you read a single book in your life, it should be. Registration | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Pinterest ... more

Tammy C
08-01-2016 01:24

"Our lives no longer belong to us alone, but belong to all those who desperately need us." - Elie Wiesel

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Category - Biographies & Memoirs
- Religion & Spirituality
Brand Elie Wiesel
ISBN 0374500010
EAN 9780374500016
MPN 9780374500016
AR level4.8
AR quiz number5279
AR quiz points4
AuthorElie Wiesel
Grade level7 - 12
Guided reading levelZ
ImprintHill & Wang
LanguageEnglish
Lexile level570
Original titleLa nuit
Pages144
Publish DateJanuary 2006
PublisherFarrar, Straus & Giroux
Reading levelAges 14-14
SeriesThe Night Trilogy #1
SubjectBiography: literaryBiography: religious & spiritualJewish studiesSocial & cultural historyThe Holocaust
Type of bookNon-Fiction
Year published2006