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Themes and Symbols. Night , by Elie Wiesel. Assignment. For each chapter in Night , write down a direct quote that supports each Theme. For each chapter, write down a direct quote that uses one of the Symbols , and explain what the symbol represents.

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  • For each chapter in Night, write down a direct quote that supports each Theme.
  • For each chapter, write down a direct quote that uses one of the Symbols, and explain what the symbol represents
  • Organize your examples by chapter and write them in a notebook you can hand in at the end of the semester (50 points)
theme a crisis of faith
Theme: A Crisis of Faith
  • periods of intense doubt and internal conflict about one's religious beliefs.
  • A crisis of faith demands reconciliation or reevaluation before one can continue believing
    • the crisis requires a harsh decision: either understand how the cause of doubt fits into the belief, or drop the belief.
  • What to Look For: Examples of people questioning their beliefs, doubting the existence of God, or being unable to understand how such things could happen.
theme inhumanity toward others
Theme: Inhumanity Toward Others
  • Although we would like to believe that, in the face of a crisis, we would be brave and kind, the opposite is often true
  • When people divide themselves into “us and them” it becomes easy to be cruel to “them”
  • What to Look For:
    • Examples of people exhibiting casual cruelty to others who are “different”
    • Examples of victims turning against each other
theme silence
Theme: Silence
  • The Holocaust continued as long as it did partially due to the silence or lack of intervention of other individuals or nations
  • Often, prisoners remained silent during the torture or murder of other prisoners
  • Many Jews felt that God remained silent and allowed the atrocities to continue
  • What to Look For: Examples of Wiesel or others struggling with their own or others’ unwillingness to speak up or intervene, as well as their reasons for doing so.
theme the father son bond
Theme: The Father-Son Bond
  • The Nazis’ goal was to destroy Jewish culture completely, starting with the destruction of family bonds
  • The ability or inability to maintain a family bond is symbolic of the strength of the culture
  • What to Look For:
    • Examples of Wiesel’s description of his own relationship with his father.
    • Examples of the family bond breaking down or remaining strong
  • Night
  • Fire
  • Corpses & Death
  • What to Look For: Examples where these things represent a larger idea.