Alejandro Godina

English Honors I


Outstanding Moments.

The book Night contains many moments which are hard to read, yet create a sense of sympathy or anger towards the events and/or characters. For me, three of these have left me absolutely awestruck and moved. I was amazed about how Madam Schachter's hallucinations made her an the rest of the crew go bonkers toward each other. Another moving moment was when the young boy had been hung after the SS had found evidence of sabotage. The ultimate captivation was the tragedy at Buchenwald, where Shlomo, Eliezer's father, had passed away from the Death March, beatings, and malnutrition. These moments proved to be the ones that would stay with me the longest.

Mrs. Schachter was an old woman in her fifties with a ten-year-old son with her. In the cattle car, on the way to Auzchwitz-Birkenau, she was having hallucinations about fire and flames. She was moaning already on the first day of the journey, but after seeing things, she seemed to be possessed by an evil spirit. Everyone's nerves had reached their peak as her madness became contagious amongst all of the other passengers. People then began to throw blows to her head, as she had not been the only person on the car. When they finally arrive, they finally see the flames at Auzchwitz. This left me amazed had her visions, rather than her hallucinations.

A truly stunning moment in the book Night was when the little boy had to be hung. He had to be hung due to the SS' suspicions of sabotage. Everyone in the camp was forced to watch him die a slow, agonizing pain. Eliezer, meanwhile, hears someone in the crowd ask about where God was during that time. His voice within him had replied that He had been the boy being hung on the rope. The boy's weight had not been enough to break his neck quickly enough for his death to be painless. This had caused Eliezer to weep, upon seeing his pinkish tongue and clear eyes. This scene had proven to be a difficult one to read.

Of all the most shocking scenes in the entire book, Shlomo's death at Buchenwald was the most difficult to sink into my mind. He had obviously changed a lot from the beginning of the journey. They had to go on a Death March from camp Buna to Buchenwald due to the bombing of the previous work camp. Eliezer had prayed for the strength to not do what the rabbi's son had done to his father. That is, running away from him during the Death March. His father was gradually becoming weaker the farther they had been traveling. As they had neared the end, his father had ultimately been taken to the crematorium, possibly still alive and breathing. Eliezer had then woken up the next morning with another man sleeping in his father's place.

Overall, this book had its fair share of ups and downs. Eliezer clearly had a hard time, being taken from his home and separated from his family. Schachter had a mentally insane time, visioning about fire and furnaces before arriving at Auzchwitz. The little boy experienced a long, painful death, being hung so as to not die because of the lack of weight necessary to break his neck instantly. His father went through some difficult tribulations, starving and being beaten and eventually killed by the officers. These are moments that will stay with him forever, and that have stood with me the longest throughout the book.