Night Themes Symbols and Motifs

This Storyboard That activity is part of the lesson plans for Night


Elie Wiesel Night Symbols

Example



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Activity Overview


Themes, symbols, and motifs come alive when you use a storyboard. They're an essential part of any story, and help readers make connections to the material. Students can track themes and symbols in Night and support their choices with details from the text.


Night Themes to Look For and Discuss

Loss of Faith

At the beginning of the novel, Wiesel focuses heavily on the fact that his intended occupation was to study and learn all he could about his religion. However, as time progress and increasingly heinous atrocities occurred, Elie’s faith is shaken.


Father-Son Relationship

Three times in the novel Elie brings the reader's attention to familial relationships between fathers and their sons. Often it is to capture the mistreating of elders. For example the story of Rabbi Eliahou’s son, who leaves his father to die during the death march.


Silence

In the novel, Wiesel describes two types of silence. The first being the silence of the victims and their lack of resistance to the Nazis. The second refers to the silence Elie hears when his prayers go unanswered. Again, he believes that God has turned his back, or is absent, in his time of need.


Symbols and Motifs to Look For & Discuss

Fire

In the novel, Wiesel uses fire to symbolize God's divine wrath, as well as the Nazis' power and destruction. The first appearance is when Mrs. Schächter believes she sees fire out of the train window. Several times she screams out, however, to the others it is only a vision. When they arrive in Berkinau, all on board see great flames rising from the smokestacks, spewing ashes.


Night

Throughout the novel, Weisel makes biblical allusions to night or darkness. According to the Torah, God began the world by expelling the darkness. Therefore, darkness symbolizes a world without God. Several times in the novel, night is mentioned; this is when suffering is at its worst. For example, the night before being deported, Elie and his family get little rest; the fear of the unknown chokes their ability to sleep.



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Template and Class Instructions

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Student Instructions

Create a storyboard that identifies recurring themes in Night. Illustrate instances of each theme and write a short description below each cell.


  1. Click "Start Assignment".
  2. Identify the theme(s) from Night you wish to include and replace the "Theme 1" text.
  3. Create an image for the example(s) that represents this theme.
  4. Write a description of each of the examples.
  5. Save and submit the assignment.

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