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Night by Elie Wiesel

Answer the following questions in complete sentences on notebook paper in your binder as we read the novel together, or use the PDF sent out to read at home and answer the questions you don’t complete in class. Answers on notebook paper will be collected at the completion of the novel. This is a major test grade.

Section 1

  1. Describe the character Moshe the Beadle.

  2. Where did Elie Wiesel spend his childhood?

  3. How old is Elie at the end of 1941?

  4. Describe Elie’s family.

  5. Why did Elie pray, and why did he cry when he prayed?

  6. What happened to Moshe in the beginning of section 1?

  7. Explain how Moshe has changed.

  8. Upon his return, what story did Moshe tell?

  9. Why didn’t the people believe Moshe’s story?

  10. What do you think Moshe means when he tells Elie that he has come to tell the story of his death?

  11. Why doesn’t Elie’s father request permits to Palestine so that the family can live in Sighet?

  12. How do the people of Sighet feel about the Germans at first?

  13. What is viewed as the “death’s head?”

  14. What is a ghetto?

  15. Why were the Jews forced to live in the Ghettos?

  16. What was the bad news that Elie’s father had to tell the people of the ghetto communities?

  17. Why did the citizens resist the truth, even when it was right in front of them?

  18. How does Elie describe the ghetto once the people had been deported?

  19. Describe the scene of leaving the ghetto. How does it make you feel?

  20. Whom does Elie first begin to hate, and why?

Section 2

  1. What are the conditions like inside the cattle wagon?

  2. Where was the train when Elie replied, “Our eyes were opened. Too late.”?

  3. Describe Madame Schachter’s situation.

  4. What is it that Madame Schachter thinks she sees?

  5. What is the effect of Madame Schachter’s screams on the passengers in the cattle wagon?

  6. What did some of the passengers do to quiet Madame Schachter?

  7. Why do you think the reaction of Madame Schachter’s son upsets Elie so much?

  8. What is the final destination of the cattle wagon?

  9. What was foreshadowed by Madame Schachter’s nightmare?

Section 3

  1. What is left on the train along with the deportees’ cherished items?

  2. What would have happened to Elie if he had not lied about his age?

  3. What is going to happen to the prisoners at Auschwitz?

  4. Why do the young Jewish men with knives not attack the SS?

  5. What was the horrifying sight that Elie at first disbelieved?

  6. Explain what Elie meant when he said, “Never will I forget these flames which consumed my faith forever.”

  7. How had Elie changed in such a short time?

  8. When Elie arrived at the barracks, what was he made to do?

  9. What was Bela Katz forced to do once he was chosen for his strength?

  10. What was the compulsory formality at the entrance to all camps?

  11. Why does Elie thank God for mud?

  12. How is it that Elie and his father survive the first selection off the train?

  13. What choice does each man have at Auschwitz?

  14. What was the inscription on the iron door of Auschwitz?

  15. What was Elie’s first impression of Auschwitz after leaving Birkenau?

  16. What advice does the Polish prisoner in charge of their barrack give before they are allowed to lie down in a bunk?

  17. What sort of identification was used on the prisoners?

  18. What is the significance of A-7713?

  19. What were the prisoners’ rations at each meal?

  20. What is the most important goal for Elie as he enters into the camp?

  21. What does Akiba Drumer say is the reason for why they are experiencing such brutality?

  22. To what new camp do Elie and his father go?

Section 4

  1. What is Elie’s first impression of the camp at Buna?

  2. What does the dentist look for in the mouths of the prisoners?

  3. Where were Elie and his father sent to work?

  4. Why did Elie have to go to the dentist?

  5. What excuse does Elie give to the dentist so that he won’t take out his gold crown?

  6. What part of Elie’s body alone is aware of “the passage of time?”

  7. How did the French girl hide her identity?

  8. Why does Idek beat Elie’s father? What is Elie’s first reaction as the beating is taking place?

  9. What happened to Elie and his father when Franek asked for Elie’s gold crown?

  10. What was Elie’s punishment for leaving his assigned work area and seeing Idek with a girl?

  11. Who bombs the camp at Buna?

  12. What is the punishment for stealing soup?

  13. What is the reputation of the pipel and the fifty-second cable unit?

  14. Why is the pipel hanged?

  15. What makes the hanging of the pipel different from the other hangings the prisoners have witnessed?

Section 5

  1. What is the importance of Rosh Hashanah, according to the text?

  2. What does Elie see and feel with his “eyes wide open?”

  3. What question is “hotly debated” regarding Yom Kippur – The Day of Atonement?

  4. Why didn’t Elie fast on Yom Kippur?

  5. Where did Elie go after Yom Kippur?

  6. What is the selection?

  7. According to the veterans of Buna, how has the camp changed in the past few years as far as conditions for the prisoners?

  8. In a better world, Elie could imagine a universe without what?

  9. What happened to those whom stayed behind?

  10. What is the “inheritance” Elie’s father gives to him if he does not survive the second selection?

  11. Why did Elie have to go to the hospital?

  12. Elie must have surgery for what reason?

  13. What is ironic in the statement, “I’ve got more faith in Hitler than in anyone else. He’s the only one who’s kept his promises, all his promises, to the Jewish people?”

  14. What is ironic about the choice Elie and his father make concerning staying in the hospital or evacuating with the others in his unit?

  15. Why is the wooden floor of the block cleaned before they leave?

Section 6

  1. What are the overall conditions of the march to the next camp?

  2. What happened to anyone who couldn’t keep up with the march?

  3. Why can’t Zalman continue to march?

  4. How did Zalman die?

  5. How does the presence of his father give Elie the strength to continue the march?

  6. Why did Elie’s father not let him sleep?

  7. What horrible realization did Elie come to concerning Rabbi Eliahou and his son?

  8. The image that Elie has of the Rabbi Eliahou’s son running away from his father in the snowy march initiates a prayer. Explain the importance of the prayer.

  9. Why is the violin so important to Juliek?

  10. What is the importance of Juliek’s playing of Beethoven’s concerto?

  11. To what does Elie refer when he says he saw the “eerily poignant little corpse?”

  12. How did Elie help his father when the selection was made?

  13. How do the prisoners appease their thirst while waiting for the train to arrive?

Section 7

  1. Why does Elie say, “There was no longer any reason to live, any reason to fight” when he wakes up to a snow covered, open cattle car?

  2. What did they do with the dead bodies on the train?

  3. How did Elie again help his father when they were on the train?

  4. What happened when workmen threw bread on the train?

  5. Why does Elie, some years later, ask a lady not to throw money out to the poor?

  6. How is the passage describing the fight over the piece of bread in the open cattle car one of both horror and sadness?

  7. Describe the scene Elie witnessed between the father and son.

  8. Meir Katz groaned, “Why don’t they shoot us right away?” Why do you think they didn’t?

  9. How many got out of the wagon? Where had they arrived?

Section 8

  1. Why is Elie angry with his father right after they debark from the train at the camp?

  2. Explain how the father/son roles had been reversed in the case of Elie and his father.

  3. What thoughts does Elie have concerning his father, and why does he feel ashamed?

  4. What is Elie’s father dying of?

  5. In what ways does Elie try to help his father while he is sick?

  6. Why was Elie’s father being beaten?

  7. What did Elie think of the advice given to him by the head of the block?

  8. What happens to Elie’s father when he continues to ask for water?

  9. What is happening to Elie’s father?

  10. How does Elie feel about this?

  11. What do you think Elie means when he says, “Free at last,” concerning his father’s death?

Section 9

  1. How does Elie feel after the death of his father?

  2. What happened on April 5th?

  3. Why do the Germans decide to “liquidate” Buchenwald and evacuate the prisoners?

  4. What stops the final evacuation of prisoners from the camp?

  5. What is the first act of the prisoners after the first Americans begin arriving?

  6. What does Elie see in the mirror when he looks back at his reflection for the first time since his imprisonment?

  7. In what ways is his reflected image symbolic of his internal self as well as a description of his physical appearance?

  8. Why can he never forget the look he saw in the eyes of his reflection?

  9. Have you ever seen an interview with Elie Wiesel? What questions would you like to ask him if you had the opportunity?

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