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Jean Rouaud


Author: Elie Wiesel

Type of work: Memoir

Genre: World War II and Holocaust memoir

Language: First published in Yiddish, under the title Un di Velt Hot Geshvign (And the World Remained Silent). An abridgment was translated into French as La Nuit, which was translated into English as Night.

Time and place of writing: Contradictory: Mid-1950s Paris, or on the ship to Buenos Aires following a ten-year self-imposed vow of silence regarding the Holocaust.

Date of first publication:Un di Velt Hot Geshvign was published in 1956 in Buenos Aires. La Nuit was published in France in 1958, and the English translation was published in 1960 by Hill & Wang, with the agent being Georges Borchardt, who remains Wiesel’s agent today.

Publisher:Night: Hill & Wang (United States)

Narrator: Eliezer (the longer name of Elie)

Point of view: First-person omniscient

Tone: Familiar, with philosophical existentialist underpinnings

Tense: Past

Setting (time): 1941-1945, from the start of the Holocaust in Hungary to liberation of the camps

Settings (place): Eliezer’s story begins in Sighet, Transylvania, and continues through several concentration camps in Europe: Auschwitz/Birkenau (Poland today), Buna (a camp that belonged to Auschwitz), Gleiwitz (also in Poland), and Buchenwald (Germany)

Protagonist: Eliezer

Major conflict: Eliezer’s struggles with Nazi persecution, and with his own faith in God and in humanity

Rising action: The approaching horror of the Holocaust

Climax: The death of Eliezer’s father

Falling action: The liberation of the concentration camps

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