Analyzing Night Weasel’s choice of diction in a passage from his devastating novel, Night, reveals his tone towards Joy and celebration during the hopeless times of the Holocaust. By using the word “mirage,” he has implied that the Jewish inhabitants of the concentration camp have created an internal fantasy where things are improved and a positive aura resides. Holidays are meant to be a time of happiness; therefore, Wisest uses a word with a positive connotation to highlight that for us. Furthermore, a mirage defines something that, in reality, does not exist.
This definition is true to he word’s use because we as the readers know that the Joy of the Jewish New Year was simply masking the daily terror and misery of life in a concentration camp. I believe that Lie Wisest broke his silence about his Holocaust experience because he remembered all of the people that had stayed silent while immoral and corrupted things were happening directly in front of them. One instance of staying silent is shown in his biography when Mosher the Beadle and other foreign Jews are being taken away and someone behind him speaks about it as if it is not their problem to Orr about, dismissing the issue.
We as readers are disturbed by that, but it happened daily while World War I was happening in Germany. Another time that Wisest speaks about silence is when his father is stricken by an AS officer. His tone during this passage is hauntingly numb with a twinge of remorse. Wisest looks back on this time with regret, which could’ve been an influencing factor in his decision to write this novel. I believe that this book is entitled Night because the night is dark and dimly lit and creeps up gradually, taking you by surprise.
Wisest often uses the rod night throughout his book, beginning its usage around the time that the Jews in the ghetto find out that they are being deported from their homes. Night is clearly used as a metaphor all throughout the novel, describing the veil of darkness and hopelessness produced by the Jewish Holocaust. At one specific point in the book, towards the beginning, Wisest tells us that the concentration camp turned his life into “one long night. ” The meaning of the quote is shown once again on the very last page of the book, when Lie looks into the mirror at his unrecognizable reflection.
Although the torture of the Holocaust is over for him, his mind has been invaded and corrupted and he will never be as innocent and pure as he was at the start of the book. He also told us on more than one occasion that he’d lost faith in God, giving up all hope in the dark and empty times of life in the concentration camps. Through his use of diction, Wisest reveals to us that he no longer recognizes himself, like a new and corrupted person has entered his body and soul. By using the word “depths,” he shares with us that he is not only a deteriorated person on the outside, but also on he inside.
His mind, soul, and heart have all been replaced by the Nazis with someone else’s, someone cold and dark. Lie feels as if he has not only shallowly changed in appearance, but also deep inside, hence the use of the word “depths. ” Despite the fact that the mirror only reflects his body and skin, he knows that life in a concentration camp has invaded and altered every thought Lie has, every decision he makes, and similarly deep-rooted things. Additionally, Lie refers to his reflection himself in this new creature misshapen by the terrorizing Holocaust.