In the memoir Night by Elie Wiesel, which is about a young jewish boy and his father facing the catastrophe of the Holocaust, struggling to outlive the millions of deaths caused by Nazi soldiers. Literary devices are used by Authors to better portray a situation so a reader can better understand what is going on. Elie Wiesel uses metaphors and similes to illustrate an image in the reader's head of his though journey throughout the novel. As the journey consisted of death and loss of hope
Survival was rare during the Holocaust. During World War I there was approximately 9.5 million jews in europe but about 6 million were brutally murdered. Elie Wiesel well knew how slim chances of survival was for Jews like himself. He depicts an image in the reader's head by figuratively stating “We were withered trees in the heart of the desert (Elie Wiesel 37). The author uses this metaphor to express his emotional and physical state and those around him. Trees need water to survive and in the heart of the desert there is very little water causing the slim chances of survival. Ths making his journey very difficult.
During the Holocaust the jews were stripped from their human rights. Prisoners who had no control over the decisions that they made. The SS army had complete control over the jewish prisoners. This caused the prisoners to lose all feelings and their eventually their identity, Elie Wiesel demonstrates that when he states “i was putting one foot in front of the other, like a machine (Wiesel 85). Elie most obviously is not a machine but he feels like he is disjointed from his body physically, emotionally, and, mentally. This simile conveys the message that throughout the novel Elie feels himself losing his identity progressive and having no feelings, like a machine.
Death became very common in europe during the time of World War II with about 70 - 85 million deaths. Elie Wiesel was surrounded by death through his journey and with no doubt about it felt himself getting closer to it as everyday goes by. Hope of living was getting cut down dramatically. When Elie says “I felt that i was not arguing with him, but with death itself, with the death that he had already chosen’’ (Wiesel 111). The personification given to death oj being able to choose was a way to convey the idea that death since being everywhere was almost certain. His father's death was a huge take away from Elie hope.
Throughout Elie’s traumatic experience he was put through a tough time as he was trying to survive, as he lost his identity, and constantly facing death on a daily basis.