What are the five motifs/themes found in the novel?
Night – pay attention to what happens at night and what that might symbolize. Remember what we learned when we talked about archetypes and what night might symbolize.
Bearing Witness – Pay attention to which characters are witnesses and to what they bear witness.
Father-son Relationships – Pay attention to how Elie and his father’s relationship develops; in addition, notice other father-son relationships in the book.
Loss of faith – Notice how Elie’s faith in God changes as the book progresses.
Voice vs. Silence – Who has a voice and who chooses to remain silent? Why might Elie Wiesel title his novel what he did originally, and why did he no longer remain silent?
What point of view is the novel written in? First person
Write an example of a simile found on page 1.
“as awkward as a clown”
What does Elie desire to study?
Who does he get to help him?
Moishe the Beadle
What happens to Moshe the Beadle?
He was expelled from Sighet because he was foreign Jew.
What does Moshe say happened while he was away?
They crossed the Hungarian border into Polish territory, left the train, loaded onto trucks, taken to the trenches, forced to dig trenches, shot them, used infants as target practice, left Moishe for dead.
Why don’t any of the townspeople believe Moshe?
His story is unbelievable. They think he is mad (crazy). They felt like he wanted them to feel sorry for him, or that he had just gone mad.
What kind of position does Elie’s father have in the community?
He was a leader in the community, someone people looked to for advice. He owned a store in Sighet.
What kind of relationship do Elie and his father have at the beginning of the novel?
He had never seen his father cry. His father didn’t want him to study the Kabbalah. Their relationship was not close. His father was distant and not sentimental.
Where are the Jews sent first after the arrival of the German soldiers?
The ghetto then the small ghetto
Provide an example of a simile and a metaphor from page 15.
“back yard looked like a marketplace”
“the words were choking me”
“torn from their dreams”
“like molten lead”
What news do they then receive of where they are to be located?
What does Madame Schachter imagine she sees? Fire, flames
Name the literary device Madame Schachter’s “vision” is an example of.foreshadowing
What happens to Elie’s family when they reach the camp?
They are separated. Men to the left. Women to the right.
What advice do Elie and his father receive from one of the camp prisoners?
To lie about the age. Instead of being fifteen and fifty, they should say eighteen and forty.
What occupation does Elie say he is? A farmer.
What happens to those who are skilled workers? They are sent to a different camps than the simple laborers.
Write an example of a metaphor found on page 34. “heart about to burst”
What do Elie and the others recite as they are nearing the crematory? Kaddish, the Jewish prayer for the dead
What new name does Elie receive at the camp? A7713
What happens to people with gold teeth or crowns? They were listed by their number for the gold to be removed later.
What type of treatment do the men receive at the factory? Treated decently, work wasn’t difficult.
How does Elie manage to keep some of his teeth temporarily? He pretended to be sick, asked the dentist to wait a few days, later the dentist was hanged for dealing in gold teeth
What happens to people who disobey the rules of the camp?They were beaten, shot, or hung
Why does the hanging of the “pipel” stay in Elie’s mind? It was when he lost his faith.
How do the prisoners celebrate Rosh Hashanah? Meet as a group to pray
How do they celebrate Yom Kippur? By fasting (not eating)
Why doesn’t Elie celebrate? His father forbids him from celebrating, he is rebelling against God, he doesn’t want to starve
What advice does the block head give the men before selection? To run when they examine them. Give the appearance of stamina.
What does Elie’s father give him when he thinks he has been selected? His “inheritance” is a knife and a spoon.
What happens to Akiba Drumer? He gets selected
What promise do Elie and his father make Akiba? Do they keep their promise? They promise to pray the kaddish for him. No, they forgot to.
Why does Elie go to the doctor? His foot is injured/infected.
Who does the prisoner next to Elie in the hospital think has kept the most promises? Hitler
Why do Elie and his father decide to leave with the evacuation? They think that the infirmary will be destroyed and all the patients/sick would be killed
Name the literary device that this decision is an example of. IRONY. The people who remained at the infirmary were liberated by the Russians two days after the evacuation.
Why does the head of the block order the men to clean the barracks before leaving?
He wants the Russians to know that men lived there, not pigs. IRONY.
How do the men travel to Gleiwitz? They had to run.
What happens to the men as they travel if they are slow? (2 answers)they were shot or trampled
What is Juliek’s broken violin a symbol of? A symbol of its broken owner or the broken souls of the victims of the holocaust.
What happens to the men who fall asleep in the caved-in brick factory where they pause to rest on the journey? they die in the night- freezing to death.
What do the men do to make up for the fact that they have nothing to drink? What do the SS do when they see this? They eat the snow off of each other’s backs. The SS thought it was amusing
How do the men treat each other on the train ride to Buchenwald? The “gravediggers” throw the dead off of the train and the remaining prisoners are happy for more room. They fight over bread. A son kills his father for a piece of bread and they others kill the son for the bread.
How many men arrive at Buchenwald? 12 men How many were originally on the train? About 100 hundred
What does Elie’s father choose for himself? He has chosen death
Why does Elie take his father to the doctor?His father has dysentry
What is the last word that Elie’s father says? Eliezer
What are Elie’s conflicting emotions with his father’s death? Sorrow vs. a sense of freedom
What does Elie’s only concern become? Food and eating
What do the prisoners never think of after being liberated? revenge
What does Elie call himself after he looks in the mirror? A corpse
List 3 examples of father/son relationships in the story.