STUDY QUESTIONS: NIGHTby Elie Wiesel MLA HEADING: ANSWER THE FOLLOWING QUESTIONS ON YOUR OWN PAPER (ANSWERS MUST BE HANDWRITTEN. NO TYPED STUDY GUIDES WILL BE ACCEPTED). LABEL EACH SECTION AND NUMBER EACH ANSWERAPPROPRIATELY. MOST ANSWERS WILL BE SHORT, BUT ANSWERS TO “WHY”-TYPE QUESTIONS SHOULD BE THOUGHTFUL AND DETAILED. PREFACE (pages v-vi)
Read the preface by Robert Brown. Why do you suppose Wiesel imposed a ten-year vow of silence? 2.Why did he have trouble finding a publisher? 3.What is the “devastation that will never end”? 4.What is Brown saying about how we can make sure that something this horrible is never repeated? FOREWARD (pages vii-xi) 5.Read the Foreword by Francois Mauriac. Why is Mauriac so moved by Wiesel’s book—of all the Holocaust literature he had seen? 6.How do you explain the “inconceivable passivity” with which the Jews of Sighet yield themselves to the Nazis? 7.What aspects of Wiesel’s experience does Mauriac find most disturbing? PAGES 1-12
When and where does Elie Wiesel grow up? (city, country and time period) How old is he? 9.Try to picture Elie’s childhood. How is his childhood like yours and how is it different? 10.Who is “Moshe the Beadle” and why does Wiesel begin the story with him? 11.What do Eliezer’s parents and the others in the community think of Moshe? 12.Why does Elie spend so much time with Moshe? 13.What is Elie’s father’s profession? 14.Is Elie’s father highly respected in the Jewish community? 15.What has happened to Moshe that caused a great change in him? 16.How does this experience change Moshe? 17.How does the rest of the community react when he tells them what has happened to him? 18.The Jews of Sighet are optimistic because of the news they hear on the radio in late 1942 and 1943. What is the news and why are they so optimistic? 19.With an ironic tone, Wiesel says, “Besides, people were interested in everything—in strategy, in diplomacy, in politics, in Zionism—but not their own fate” (page 6). What does he mean? 20.Berkovitz brings news from Budapest that anti-Semitism (hostility or discrimination against Jews) war is rampant. Why then, is “optimism soon revived” (page 7)? 21.Why do “the optimists rejoiced” even three days after the German soldiers appear in Sighet (page 7)? 22.Why is celebrating Passover like playing a “comedy” (page 8)? 23.What does the following mean? “On the seventh day of Passover the curtain rose.” 24.Name the decrees (laws) the Germans put into place. [Label them 24 A, B, etc.] 25.Describe the ghettos? 26.How do the Jews of Sighet generally feel about the ghettos? 27.Why do the Jews of Sighet think they are being deported and why is their destination kept secret from them? PAGES 12-20
How could the Jews of Sighet have possibly escaped from the Germans? 29.How do they prepare for deportation?