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Book Detail


Night Author Elie Wiesel
Publisher Hill & Wang
ISBN 0374500010
Publication Year 2006
Reading Level 4.8
Main Character Age 15
Main Character is Human
Summary (Publisher"s Summary)
Born in the town of Sighet, Transylvania, Elie Wiesel was a teenager when he and his family were taken from their home in 1944 to the Auschwitz concentration camp, and then to Buchenwald. Night is the terrifying record of Elie Wiesel's memories of the death of his family, the death of his own innocence, and his despair as a deeply observant Jew confronting the absolute evil of man. This new translation by his wife and most frequent translator, Marion Wiesel, corrects important details and presents the most accurate rendering in English of Elie Wiesel's testimony to what happened in the camps and of his unforgettable message that this horror must never be allowed to happen again.

Subject Matter Summaries

Summary Details For Positive Elements:

The author mentions several people who displayed courage and kindness to him or his family. p.14 A Hungarian police officer tried to warn Elie's family to flee. p.41,44 A young Pole in charge of the barrack gave hope and advice to the inmates in Elie's group. He was later removed because he was considered too humane. p.53 A young woman and labor inmate at the factory where Elie worked showed kindness to him after he was severely beaten by the work commander.

Summary Details For Mature Subject Matter:

CONFLICT p.9 Elie asked his father to move the family to Palestine at the beginning of WWII. His father felt he was too old for such a move. p.9-10 The Jewish people of Sighet were lulled into a sense of security when German officers first came to town. p.39 After seeing his father struck in the face Elie thought "he would never forgive them". p.49 A Jewish violinist was not allowed to play German composers. p.95 While at Gleiwitz, prisoners were forced to go without food or water for three days. p.100 Prisoners were transported to Buchenwald in open train cars. They were exposed to the cold and snow and did not receive food. p.105 Elie fought with his father in an attempt to keep him from giving up and dying. p.110-111 Elie struggled with the advice a fellow prisoner had given him. The man wanted Elie to realize that he should only be concerned with himself and not try and help his dying father. DEATH p.29 Elie sees his mother and younger sister for the last time. p.30 An old man in line behind Elie was shot and killed by an SS officer. p.45 Stein, a relative, learns the fate of his wife and sons. p.46 Elie thought of his mother and younger sister. He did not believe they were still alive. p.52 The camp's "dentist" (a fellow prisoner) was hanged. He had used the gold crowns from prisoners for his own benefit. p.76-77 Akiba Drumer gave up trying to avoid "selection". He was sent to the crematoria. p.89 Many prisoners died during the evacuation march. p.95 A Polish friend and prisoner, Juliek, died. p.103 Elie and his father were two of the twelve prisoners out of one hundred who survived the trip to Buchenwald in their train wagon. p.112 Elie's father died. WAR p.8 The people of Sighet believed that the Red Army would keep Hitler from harming them. p.12,20 The Jewish people of Sighet mistakenly believed that they would be allowed to live in the ghetto until the end of the war or until the Red Army arrived. p.42 Inmates felt that the war would come to an end soon. p.80 Inmates heard that the Red Army was near Buna and the camp would be evacuated. p.83 The inmates could see cannon fire the night before they were evacuated from Buna. p.95 Elie stated, "The Front followed us" during the evacuation march. p.115 The SS fled the Buchenwald camp after a short battle with the resistance. SUICIDE p.30 An inmate at Auschwitz said to the new prisoners they should have hanged themselves rather than allowing themselves to be taken. p.33-34 Elie considered throwing himself against the electrified barbed wire fence rather than face death in the crematoria. WITCHCRAFT p.24-28,34 A woman thought to be possessed by an evil spirit was in the cattle car with Elie's family. She warned her fellow captives of "fire and flames". After they arrived in Auschwitz and saw the crematories they shuddered at her predictions. GENDER/SEX IDENTITY ISSUES p.47-48 Guards treated young boys well and used them for homosexual acts. RELIGION p.3-5 Elie had a desire to study the Kebbalah. He asked Moishe to help him study. Moishe caused Elie to question why he believed what he believed. p.33 Elie questioned why he should praise God when he feared he would be killed shortly after arriving in Auschwitz. p.45 Elie ceased to pray to God. p.51 A fellow inmate used numerology and a verse from the Bible to "predict that Redemption was coming soon". p.66-69 Fellow Jewish prisoners gathered to participate in a the Jewish new year service. Elie at the time questioned his faith and was angry with God. Elie also chose not to fast at Yom Kippur. CRISIS p.78-82 Elie's foot became swollen from exposure to the cold. He was afraid that they would amputate his leg. p.107-111 Elie's father became ill with dysentery.

Summary Details For Profanity/Language:

DEROGATORY TERMS Good-for-nothings p.19 "You lazy good-for-nothings", a Hungarian police officer yelled at the Jews. Loafer p.54 Idek yelled, “You old loafer!" at Elie's father. Swine p.58 "Elie was called, "You son of a swine!" by Idek. Dogs p.85 SS officers yelled, "Faster, you tramps, you flea-ridden dogs!” and "Faster, you filthy dogs!" MILD OBSCENITIES Bitch p.30 An inmate at Auschwitz yelled, "You sons of bitches, why have you come here?" SEXUAL REFERENCES Copulate p.57 The word copulate is used.

Summary Details For Sexual Content:

NUDITY p.35,36 Inmates were told to strip off their clothes. p.71 Inmates were told to undress and go before SS officers for "selection". ROMANCE p.46 German SS guards flirted with girls in a small village near the concentration camp. SEXUAL INNUENDO p.23 Elie noticed that the "young caressed one another under the cover of darkness." SEXUAL ACTIVITY WITHOUT EXPLICIT DETAILS p.57 Elie witnessed a Kapo (fellow prisoner who acted as a guard) having sex with a young Polish girl. She was "half naked" and "tried to cover her breasts" when Elie discovered them. p.115 Freed prisoners went into town for "food, clothing and to sleep with girls."

Summary Details For Violence/Illegal Activity:

MISDEMEANOR p.48 Elie's shoes were stolen. MILD VIOLENCE p.16,18 "Hungarian police used riffle butts to club old men, women, children and cripples." p.26-27 A woman in the cattle car was bound and gagged. She also received several blows because she was upsetting the others. p.28 Prisoners were struck with flashlights and sticks and told to move out of the railroad cars. p.35,36 Inmates were struck with sticks by the Kapos (inmates who were in charge of the barracks). p.39 A Kapo slapped Elie's father hard enough to knock him to the ground. p.40 People were clubbed and whipped by guards. p.77 Elie described their treatment as one where they received "more blows than food". p.102 Elie was attacked by a fellow prisoner. p.114 Elie's block was emptied by the block commander who used a club. NON-LIFE THREATENING INJURIES p.56 Elie's gold crown on his tooth was removed with a rusty spoon. FRIGHTENING SCENES p.13 Elie's mom was fearful of the news her husband would bring. p.15 Elie woke a neighbor to tell him they are being expelled; the man's "eyes filled with terror." p.23-24 Everyone in the cattle car became frightened when they realized they were being taken out of Hungary. p.60-61 Elie was anxious about his father's fate when American aircraft bombed the area. p.70,74 Elie was concerned his father would not escape "selection". Elie was even more upset when his father had to remain in the camp one work day. p.78 While hospitalized, Elie was warned that "selection" happened more often for the sick. He was told, "Germany has no need for sick Jews." p.81 Patients in the infirmary were afraid that they would be "thrown in the furnaces or that the camp would be mined" before liberators reached them. p.88-90 Elie and his father worried they would fall asleep and die in the snow. p.94 Elie struggled to stay alive and not suffocate under a pile of men. p.96 Elie ran after his father when he was picked during "selection". p.98 Elie was afraid that his father had died. "Gravediggers" wanted to throw his body from the train. VIOLENCE p.30 An SS officer shot and killed an old man in line behind Elie. p.35 A friend from Sighet was forced to throw his father's body into the furnace. p.53 Idek, the Kapo, beat Elie until he was "covered in blood." p.54 Elie's father was struck again and again with an iron bar by the Kapo. p.55 Elie's father was beaten repeatedly for not being able to march. p.85-86 SS officers shot inmates who could not keep the pace. p.86 Elie believed Zalman was trampled on and died during the evacuation march. p.96 SS officers shot and killed some men during the confusion during a "selection". p.101-102 A father and son were killed by fellow prisoners because they had a crust of bread. p.109,110 Elie's father was beaten by fellow prisoners because he was "no longer able to relieve himself outside". They also beat him to gain his ration of bread. p.111 Elie's dying father was struck on the head with a club by an officer. INTENSE VIOLENCE p.6-7 Foreign Jews were murdered by Hungarian police. Infants were tossed into the air and used as targets. p.32 Elie and his father witnessed small children and babies being thrown into fire pits. p.57-58 Elie was beaten until he was unconscious for discovering the Kapo's actions. p.59-60 The shooting of a fellow prisoner was described. The inmate had tried to eat soup that was unattended during a bombing raid. p.61-62 This described hangings witnessed by the entire camp. p.63-65 There is a graphic description of three hangings. One was a thirteen year old boy who "lingered for more than thirty minutes".

Summary Details For Tobacco/Alcohol/Drugs:

ALCOHOL p.22 The food and wine were blessed

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Summary Details For Disrespectful/Anti-Social Elements:

LYING AND/OR CHEATING p.27 Jewish captives were led to believe that the conditions at the labor camp were good. p.28 The captives were forced to turn over the possessions they had been told they could bring with them. p.44 Elie lied to a relative. He told him that his wife and sons were fine. p.52 Elie lied twice about his health to save the gold crown on his tooth. p.73 The block commander lied to the prisoners that did not pass "selection". He told them that nothing would happen to them. ARGUING AND/OR DISRESPECT p.7 The Jewish people of Sighet did not believe Moishe's account of what happened in the Galacia Forest. VERBAL BULLYING AND/OR TEASING p.70 Elie was teased by veteran inmates at Buna. p.85 SS officers shouted insults at inmates. EXPRESSIONS OF BAD ATTITUDES AND/OR MOODINESS p.77 When winter came, the Buna veteran inmates teased the newest inmates saying, "Now you'll really get a taste of camp." p.107 Elie recognized that he "grudgingly gave his father what was left of his soup".