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NIGHT  Reading Guide
Chapter 1- Read for elements of plot and types of conflict
1. How old is Elie when the memoir begins and what is the year? (No, I wasn’t alive!)
2. Provide textual evidence to prove that Elie is extremely spiritual.
3. Select the strong adjectives used to describe and characterize Mr. Wiesel on page three.
4. What kind of relationship does Elie have with his father?  With his heavenly father?
5. Describe the irony on page three about Elie’s relationship with his father and the father’s communal relationship in Sighet, Hungary.
6. Cite textual evidence to describe the numerous conflicts Elie faces in chapter one.
7. Locate, cite and explain the effectiveness of the paradox on page four.
8. Page four- Locate, cite and explain the effectiveness of the figurative language.
9. Cite an example on page five that relates to or explains this idiom, “Out of sight, out of mind.”   Create an analogy to compare it to the text.
10. Cite an example on page five that relates to or explains this idiom, “Believe none of what you hear, half of what you see.”  Create an analogy to compare it to the text.
11. Page five- Locate, cite and explain the effectiveness of the figurative language.
12. How does Moshe become a dynamic character?  What is the date?
13. Why do the Jews elect to ignore eye witness testimony on page six?
14. Page 6 - Locate, cite and explain the effectiveness of the figurative language.
15. Explain the role reversal between Elie and Moshe.
16. How old is Elie at the bottom of page 6 in 1943?
17. On page 7, who is the antagonist?
18. How many reasons do the Jews use to deny the danger?
19. When Wiesel asked his father to liquidate his business and to leave for Palestine, what was his father’s response (7)?  Why do you think he responds this way?
20. Cite an example on page seven that relates to or explains this idiom, “Hindsight is 20/20”   Create an analogy to compare it to the text.
21. Page seven - Locate, cite and explain the effectiveness of the figurative language.
22. Why do the Jews elect to ignore eye witness testimony on page seven?
23. Note the pattern in the Jewry: news, panic, rationalization, optimism.  What is the author’s message to the reader with this pattern?
24. What were the initial impressions of the German soldiers who first appeared in Wiesel’s town?  How did these impressions change?
25. Describe in chronological order the loss of abstract and concrete values once the Germans took power.  
26. Identify the type of irony on page nine about wearing the yellow star.
27. Why is it reasonable to assume a Jew would not mind wearing a yellow star?
28. Describe the prevailing attitude, even when the Jews are moved into ghettos.
29. How is the author’s use of imagery and diction effective on page ten when the party is disrupted and Chlomo Wiesel’s face turns “pale”? Contrast this diction with “Night fell.”
30. Locate, cite and explain the effectiveness of the figurative language on page ten. 
31. Describe the cost of ignoring warnings on page ten.
32. Page 11 – What is ironic about Jews working in a brick factory?
33. Page 10- Explain the symbolism and diction of “the shadows beside me awoke as from a long sleep.”
34. Cite an example on page eleven that relates to or explains this idiom, “Opportunity knocks but you have to open the door.”  Create an analogy to compare it to the text.
35. Why does the author use the punctuation in the paragraph regarding the Hungarian Inspector?
36. Explain the significance of the biblical allusions to Passover and Exodus in this chapter. 
37. Why do the Jews abandon their religious objects before deportation?
38. What kind of torture and conflicts do the Jews endure on pages 12-13?
39. Locate, cite and explain the effectiveness of the figurative language on page 13.  
40. Locate, cite and explain a passage to prove that life is gone from the ghetto on page 13.
41. Locate, cite and explain the effectiveness of the irony on page 13.  
42. Locate, cite and explain the effectiveness of the historical allusion  on page 13
43. Locate, cite and explain the effectiveness of the comparison to grave robbing on page 14. 
44. Locate, cite and explain the effectiveness of degradation of the Jews on pages 14 -15. 
45. Page 14-15- Locate, cite and explain the effectiveness of the Jewish expectation for Divine Intervention.
46. Locate, cite and explain the effectiveness of haste in the little ghetto.
47. Explain the significance of easily forgetting about those who had already been deported on page 16 and in other places in chapter one.
48.  Locate, cite and explain the numerous opportunities The Wiesels have to escape. 
49. Page 16 - Locate, cite and explain the effectiveness of the verbal irony.
50. Cite the Jews’ numerous rationalizations for deportation on page 16.
51. “There were no longer any questions of wealth, of social distinction, and importance…” (16).  What does this mean about this group of people?  How did the Germans level the class structure on page 16-17.
52. Explain the effectiveness of the irony on page 17.
53. Explain the effectiveness of the biblical allusion on page 17.
54. Describe the numerous sacrilege in chronological order on page 17.

Chapter 2 – read for evidence of denial & anaphora
1. Locate, cite a passage and explain how it relates to the Jews having hope for tomorrow, or a will to survive.
2. How does the author effectively use imagery at the beginning of the chapter?
3. How do the Jews realize they have been deceived about staying in Hungary?
4. Explain the significance of the quotation, “Our eyes were opened, but too late.”
5. Locate, cite and explain the effectiveness of the figurative language threat on page 18.
6. Locate and cite the vivid adjectives and verbs about Madame Schachter’s remarks on page 19.
7. Locate, cite and explain the effectiveness of the figurative language on page 19.
8. Locate, cite and explain the effectiveness of foreshadowing on page 19.
9. With whom can you compare Madame Schachter?
10. Locate, cite and explain the quotation about placing water on the flame in regards to Madame Schachter.
11. The Jews try to explain away Madame Schachter’s hysteria on the train like they had explained away the war, the Germans and loss of freedoms in Sighet.  Create an analogy to explain this pattern.
12. Nails on the door of the cattle car: ??? to Madame Schachter?
13. Locate, cite and explain the effectiveness of the mob mentality on page 20.
14. Create an analogy in which the Jews received devastating news in chapter one and compare it to Madame Schachter’s screams.
15. How do Madame Schachter’s screams contribute to the setting.  (hint: read the first paragraph and notice the season)
16. When does Madame Schachter calm down and when does she scream?  What is the significance of the timing of her screaming? 
17. Cite an example on page 20 that relates to or explains this idiom, “Believe none of what you hear, half of what you see.”  Create an analogy to compare it to the text.
18. Did the people at Auschwitz lie about “There was a labor camp…invalids would be kept occupied in the fields.” ?  Describe the prevailing attitude, even when the Jews are given this news. 
19. At what time did the train arrive at Auschwitz? What is significant about this hour?

Chapter 3 – Read for imagery in this chapter
1. “Men to the left!  Women to the right!” (29).  How do these eight words affect Wiesel, his family, and all other families?  What does this mean for them? (22)
2. Why does the prisoner tell Wiesel to say that he is 18, rather than 15?  Why does he tell Wiesel’s father to say that he is 40, rather than 50? (22)
3. Locate, cite and explain the effectiveness of the show of force or random violence (22).
4. Note the date on page 23.
5. Cite evidence of the Jews’ belief that God would deliver them.
6. Cite a quotation that is tantamount, or the same as, to the famous words of Todd Beamer on 9-11,  “Let’s roll!” on page 23.
7. Read the following passage from Shakespeare’s Macbeth and locate a quotation from page 24 that equals it:
Still it cried 'Sleep no more!' to all the house:
'Glamis hath murder'd sleep, and therefore Cawdor
Shall sleep no more; Macbeth shall sleep no more.'
8. “It’s a shame…” We now know the dramatic irony of this statement.  What would have happened to Elie had be gone along with his mother, as most boys would have done at the time?
9. Elie’s revolt toward God is a magnificent change of character for him.  Why is saying the Kaddish for oneself ironic? (25)
10. Which literary term applies to the phrases that begin with, “Never shall I forget…”
11. Elie has time to think while at the barbers.  What is his main concern?
12. Locate, cite and explain the effectiveness of the situational irony (26)
13. Locate, cite and explain the effectiveness of comic relief on page 27.
14. “…the child that I was, had been consumed…”  Interpret this passage. (This means that…)
15. Locate, cite and explain the effectiveness of figurative language (28) .
16. The student of the Talmud improvises a prayer for mud instead of weeping over the Destruction of the Temple.  What does this reveal about the protagonist? (28)
17. Locate, cite and explain the effectiveness of the figurative language regarding the SS officer on page 29.
18. Locate, cite and explain the effectiveness of the irony on page 29.
19. What does the rhetorical question, “What had happened to me?” reveal about Elie’s conflict?
20. Locate, cite and explain the effectiveness of irony on page 30.
21. Make a chronological list of the young Pole’s instructions to his new prisoners (31).
22. Locate, cite and explain the effectiveness of the Jews’ optimism and continued denial. (31)
23. Why do they not speak of “those who had disappeared”?
24. What is Wiesel’s new name at Auschwitz?
25. Why is Stein irritated that the Wiesels do not recognize him?  Why do they not recognize him?
26. Read the following passage taken from Act 1, scene 1 from Shakespeare’s The Tragedy of Romeo and Juliet and locate a quotation on page 32 that parallels it.
I have lost myself; I am not here;
This is not Romeo, he's some other where.
27. How long has Stein been at Auschwitz?  How long has it been since Elie has heard from his cousin Reizel? 
28. Locate, cite and explain an example of hope for tomorrow on page 33.
29. Locate, cite and explain the effectiveness of the paradox on page 34.
30. Locate, cite and explain the effectiveness of the shift in tone and mood at the end of the chapter. 


Mrs. Murphy’s study guide questions
Chapter 4

Description of the German officer (note the simile)
Elie’s prized possession
Juliek…he’ll be important later (chapter 6)
Elie’s trip to the dentist
The outcome of the dentist
The girl in the warehouse….how does he meet her later in life?
Franek – how he punishes Elie
Idek – 25 strokes of the whip
“like an abandoned ship”  (notice the simile)
The hangings and no tears
Chapter 5
Note Elie’s change (since chapter 1)
Notice how long some of the prisoners had been at the camp
Dr. Mengele
Elie’s gift from his father
Elie’s miracle!
Who do they forget to say the Kaddish (funeral prayer) for?  What does this say?
Elie’s foot – ouch! 
The rumor about the Red Army (that’s Russia…during WWII, Russia was fighting w/ the US against the Nazis)
The tragic irony….what happened to those who stayed behind in the hospital?
Noctice what Elie uses for a shoe (not fun when it’s below freezing and thd ground is full of snow and ice!)
Notice the short ending of the chapter – the effect?
Chapter 6
Reference to the prisoners
What are the “explosions in the night”
What keeps Elie going?
Why was it not good to sleep? 
“Then he smiled.  I shall always remember that smile…” (the love of a parent)
Rabbi Eliahou – who is his son?
Does Elie still believe in God?  (proof)
Juliek & his violin (remember him from chapter 4?)
Last 2 paragraphs – the analogy of animals
Chapter 7
The scene over the bread crumbs – Elie’s flashback (what does this say about society?)
-The death of the father and son over a bread crumb
“I was fifteen years old.”  - why this short, simple sentence.
How many started on the train to Buchenwald; how many arrived?
Chapter 8
Note the role reversal between Elie and his father.
Dystentery - A painful disease of the intestines characterized by inflammation and diarrhea. Dysentery may be caused by bacteria or viruses, or may occur as the result of infestation by an amoeba.
Note: Dysentery can be transmitted by contact with water or food that has been contaminated by human waste. Public health and sanitation procedures in developed countries, however, have largely eliminated this means of transmission.
His father’s last words….   
 “I did not weep…I had no more tears” 
Read the last 3 sentences of chapter 8 – do you see the irony and the tragedy?
Chapter 9
Life after his father died – his only will in life
April 5, 1945 –
April 10, 1945 –
First acts of freedom ?
Read the last sentences of the memoir….he was your age!

In 1985, Elie Wiesel addressed President Ronald Reagan with these words, “Mr. President…I was there when American liberators arrived.  And they gave us back our lives…we are grateful to the American army for liberating us.  We are grateful to this country, the greatest democracy in the world…”

Night By Elie Wiesel (Notes)
 Night is the account of a young man (Elie) who must bear responsibility for his aged father and whose loss of a beloved parent wracks his spirit with terror, despair and regret.
 One of the most gripping autobiographical ordeals in literature, it carries the reader into the hell of Nazi perversity to the death camps intended to rid the German Reich of its Jews.
 Over eleven months—from deportation on May 16, 1944, to liberation in April 1945—Elie moves from Hungary to Kaschau, Czechoslovakia and the reception center at Birkenau, Poland.  Marched east to Buna, the electrical works at Auschwitz, Poland, he witnesses the worsening of his chances of survival as the hated “Butcher of Auschwitz,” Dr. Josef Mengele, steps up the extermination of the unfit.
Sept. 30, 1928—Elie Wiesel is born in Sighet, Romania, which later becomes part of Hungary.
 March, 1933—Adolf Hitler is elected Chancellor of Germany; Heinrich Himmler opens Dachau, a death camp, near Munich, Germany.
 July, 1937—Buchenwald concentration camp opens.
 April, 1940—Germany captures Norway and Denmark.  A concentration camp opens in Auschwitz, Poland.
 September, 1941—At Auschwitz, Germans begin using poison gas.
 March, 1943—Himmler initiates the use of crematoria in Auschwitz.
 May, 1944—The Wiesels arrive at a concentration camp in Birkenau, Poland.
 Summer, 1944—Elie and his father are sent to Auschwitz.
 January, 1945—Elie and his father are taken to Buchenwald, Germany.
 January 18, 1945—Russian forces liberate Auschwitz
 April, 1945—American troops free inmates at Dachau and Buchenwald camps.
 1947—Elie enters the Sorbonne to study philosophy.
 1955—Elie is encouraged to write about his incarceration in a death camp.
 1956—Elie enters the U.S.
 1960—Elie publishes the English version of Night.
 1986—Elie receives the Nobel Peace Prize.

 Torah—The primary source in the Jewish religion is the Hebrew Bible, consisting of 24 books divided up into 3 sections.  The Torah includes the first five books of the Bible.
 Talmud—Next in importance to the Hebrew Bible is the Babylonian Talmud, a collections of teachings of early rabbis from the 5th and 6th centuries.
 Cabbala—a collection of traditional lore that probes the mysteries of the universe.  Covers such subjects as angels, death, numerology, and human reasoning.
 Rosh Hashanah—Marks the new year of the Jewish calendar.  It is both a joyous and a solemn holiday.  Jews around the world do not work or attend school on this day.
 Yom Kippur—This is the holiest day of the Jewish calendar.  This is considered to be the day in which every individual is judged by God, and thus is a solemn day marked by prayer and repentance.  No Jew attends work or school on this day.
 Passover—And 8-day festival commemorating the freeing of the Israelites from Egyptian bondage.  A ritual feast on the first 2 nights of this holiday, called a Seder, includes the recounting of the Passover story.  Ritual foods are eaten during these eight days which are not eaten at other times of the years.  Observant Jews do not work or go to school on the first 2 days and the last 2 days of this holiday.
Diaspora—Countries outside of Israel inhabited by Jews.
 Assimilation—To accept the culture of another group while giving up one’s own.
 Ghetto—A section of a city in which Jews were required to live surrounded by walls.
 Genocide—Coined after WWII as a direct result of how some nationalities and ethnic groups, particularly the Jews, were mistreated during the war.  Its intention is the total annihilation of a race or ethnic group.
 Holocaust—refers to the destruction of 6 million Jews (and 6 million non-Jews) during 1933-1945.  Its Greek root means “burnt whole.”
 Aryan Race—The pure Germanic race, used by the Nazis to suggest a superior, non-Jewish Caucasian typified by height, blonde hair, blue eyes.
 Third Reich—The Third Republic of Germany which began with Hitler’s rule in 1933 and ended with his defeat in 1945.
 SS— “Schutz-Staffel”—established in 1929 as Hitler’s black-shirted bodyguards.  They became the elite guards of the Nazis trained in brutality and put in charge of the concentration camps.
 Gestapo—the secret police organized in 1933 to uncover and undermine political opposition
 The Final Solution—the plan devised in 1941 to speed up the system of killing the Jews and “undesirables.”  This final method used an efficient system of gas chambers and crematories to kills the Jews. 
 Selection—A term used when the SS forced prisoners to line up for inspection and decided which prisoners would live and which would be killed.

 Elie Weisel—the narrator and author of the novel, Night.
 Chlomo Wiesel—Elie’s father.  They manage to stay together during they deportment.
 Idek—a crazy Kapo who beats Elie.  The worst of Elie’s mistreatment comes after he laughs at Idek lying with a young Polish girls.  For this, Elie is given 25 lashes and faints.
 Rabbi Eliahous—this rabbis’ son deserts him in order to survive.  Disturbed by the son’s selfishness, Eli prays that he will never grow so callous toward his own father.
 Heinrich Himmler—Hitler’s second in command and the head of the S.S.  He established Dachau, the first Nazi concentration camp, near Munich, Germany.
 Adolf Hitler—Dictator of Germany; a demagogue and tyrant who obtains power by appealing to the emotions and prejudices of the masses.
 Dr. Mengele—the “Angel of Death”; a doctor who performed brutal, unnecessary experiments and operations upon prisoners.

 Sighet, Hungary—Elie’s home town
 Kaschau, Czechoslovakia—The first concentration camp that Elie and his father arrive at after their deportation from Sighet.  It is here that they see their wife, mother, sisters and daughters for the last time.
 Auschwitz, Poland—home of a concentration camp opened in April, 1940.
 Birkenau, Poland—The Wiesels arrive in this concentration camp in May of 1944.
 Buchenwald, Germany—home of a concentration opened in July, 1937.  Elie and his father are taken here in Jan., 1945

NIGHT Vocabulary
HASIDIC: a Jewish sect of mystics that began in Poland in the 18th century. They stress joyful worship of a God believed to be present in everything.
SYNAGOGUE: a building used for Jewish people for religious study and worship
CABBALA: a Jewish philosophy based on a mystical interpretation of the Scriptures
TALMUD: a book of detailed interpretation of Jewish scriptures; the writings that make up Jewish law
MAIMONIDES: a 12th century Spanish rabbi and one of the most revered of Jewish philosophers
GESTAPO: the secret police force of the German Nazis
LORRIES: trucks
RABBI: a scholar and teacher of Jewish law; the spiritual leader of a Jewish congregation
ZIONISM: a movement during this time to create a Jewish state or country of their own
EMIGRATION: the act of leaving one country or region to settle in another
BILLETED: temporary lodging of military personnel in private homes or buildings
PASSOVER: a Jewish holiday celebrating the deliverance of the Hebrews from slavery in Egypt
EDICT: an official public announcement or order given by an authority, such as the government or military
TRUNCHEONS: short, thick clubs
COMPATRIOTS: fellow countrymen
BOCHE: an insulting name for a German
GUERRILLAS: small groups of soldiers, often volunteers, who make surprise attacks and raids behind enemy lines
PILLAGE: to steal or rob of property
HERMETICALLY: in an airtight way
BAROMETER: an instrument for measuring atmospheric pressure; an indicator that change is coming
SS: abbreviation of Schutzstaffel, a military-style unit of the Nazi party that acted as a special police force
KAPOS: Nazi concentration camp prisoners who were given special privileges in return for supervising other prisoners on work crews.
WIZENED: shriveled; dried up
HARANGUED: scolded, especially in a noisy and bullying way
BLANDISHMENTS: flattering remarks that are meant to be persuasive
SANCTITY: holiness; sacredness
NUMEROLOGY: an occult system, built around numbers, of foretelling the future or exploring the unknown
ARYAN: a term used by the Nazis to mean a white person who is NOT  a Jew
ROSH HASHANAH: the Jewish New Year, the spiritual new year whose observances include special prayers and religious rituals
YOM KIPPUR: the holiest day in the Jewish calendar, the Day of Atonement, a day of fasting and prayer for forgiveness
ACHTUNG: German for “attention”
SAGE: a person who is very wise, especially one whose great wisdom is the result of age and experience
DERISION: making fun of; ridicule
DYNSENTARY: intestinal inflammation causing abdominal pain and severe diarrhea; often fatal if left untreated in the very young or old or in those who are weakened by hunger or other disease
RED ARMY: the regular army of the former Soviet Union
MOUNTEBANKS: fakes, tricksters
KNELL: the sound of a bell, especially of a bell rung slowly at a funeral; often used to mean a bad omen
STUPEFIED: stunned, amazed
PRIVATIONS: hardships, lack of necessities of everyday life
ENCUMBRANCE:  burden, obstacle
INERT: motionless, lacking the ability to move or act
VISIONARY:  having the nature of a vision,
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