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'Night' by Elie Wiesel

Book Club Discussion Questions

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Night, by Elie Wiesel, is a concise and intense account of Wiesel's experience in Nazi concentration camps during the Holocaust. The memoir provides a good starting point for discussing the Holocaust, suffering and human rights. Use these questions to keep your book club or class discussions of Night going.
 
  1. At the beginning of the book, Wiesel tells the story of Moishe the Beadle. Why do you think none of the people in the village, including Wiesel, believed Moishe when he returned?
     
  2. One of the few things Wiesel describes about his childhood and life before the Holocaust is his faith. How does his faith change? Does this book change your view of God?
     
  3. How do the people Wiesel interacts with strengthen or diminish his hope and desire to live? Talk about his father, Madame Schachter, Juliek (the violin player), the French girl, Rabbi Eliahou & his son, the Nazis. Which of their actions touched you the most?
     
  4. Was any section of the book particularly striking to you? Which one and why?
     
  5. At the end of the book, Wiesel describes himself in the mirror as "a corpse" gazing back at himself. In what ways did Wiesel die during the Holocaust? Does the memoir give you any hope that Wiesel ever started living again?
     
  6. Why do you think Wiesel titled the book "Night?" What are the literal and symbolic meanings of "night" in the book?
     
  7. How does Wiesel's writing style strengthen his account?
     
  8. Could something like the Holocaust happen today? Discuss more recent genocides, such as the situation in Rwanda in the 1990s and the ongoing conflict in Sudan. Does Night teach us anything about how we can react to these atrocities?
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