From My Book Shelf: Elie Wiesel
Start writing a post

There are some books that touch us more than others. There are books that strike us to the core. Of the many books I have read, few have touched me the way the that Night and Dawn by Elie Wiesel has.

Night and Dawn are the first two books of the Night Trilogy. These books go together and complement each other well, but the word trilogy is a bit misleading as they are not a continuous story line. In this article I will be talking about the first two books, Night and Dawn.

The first book in the trilogy is not a work of fiction, but of fact and true events. In Night, Wiesel tells the story of his time in the Nazi concentration camps, Auschwitz and Buchenwald. With his first-person account, the reader becomes one with young Elie as he recounts the horrors he experienced during the Holocaust. While reading this book it is easy to forget that what you are reading is a true account and not a harmless piece of fiction. It is truly haunting to hear what took place in those camps from a survivor and to know that many of those he interacts with throughout the book never made it out alive. It can be hard to accept the horrible things he experienced as being real, but of course nothing can really be stranger or more horrifying than reality and the truth.

I read Night for the first time when I was in the eighth grade. Before we began Night we read poem called "The Butterfly" by Pavel Friedmann. Each of us then colored and cut out a paper butterfly that our teacher hung from the ceiling. Every day in class we saw those paper butterflies, which represented a person who died during the Holocaust. They hung above us as we read Night as a reminder of how real the story we were reading was. That first time I read Night I was only taught about how sad it was and we did not go into depth on anything else related to the Holocaust or the war. All that I learned was sadness.

The second time I read Night was a year later during my freshman year of high school. During this second reading I learned much more from this book. I remember my teacher passing out the books and immediately recognizing it and wishing not to read it again. This time, the class was doing a whole unit on the war and the Holocaust. Each of us had to write a research paper and present it to the class. We also engaged in a lot of discussion about different things that occurred. With the deeper understanding I gained in class the story became more than just immense sadness. The sadness was still there, but there was much else that could be pulled from the story. There was the struggle for life, but also the struggle for God and belief. The book gives a deep insight into the lives of those who were forced into the concentration camps. It shows more than what you find in a history book.

The second book is called Dawn. It is set in Palestine just after the war. This piece is follows the fictional character of Elisha, who moved to Palestine after surviving the Holocaust. Elisha is part of a group trying to force the British out of Palestine. The book takes place during one night in which Elisha is waiting for the morning when he has been told to kill a British military officer. The story follows him as he deals with the internal conflict about killing the man.

What’s interesting about this book is the look inside the head of a man considered to be a terrorist. In this instance from the British point of view those working to force them out are terrorists and should be treated as such. Reading from Elisha’s point of view and his internal struggle over killing the officer shows that not everything is as cut and dry as one may think. It gives a human aspect to a person viewed by others to be evil and inhumane. The address of his internal turmoil shows that he as an individual is not simply evil. Elisha has thoughts and feelings and these things cause him confusion. The progression of the story shows a bit of how people who belong to these groups transition from who they were before joining. The story is one of change and development for Elisha.

I read Dawn a couple years after Night. At first I was unaware there were other books that went along with Night until I came upon them in my bookstore. Reading Dawn was an intense experience. There are many parallels to be seen between then and now. There is the continuing struggles in Palestine, though now it is between the Israelis and the Palestinians. There is also the struggles with terrorism all around the globe.

Dawn has caused me to question many things about the world we live in. It gives insight into one man but also into myself. It makes me wonder what I would do in Elisha’s position. It makes me wonder if there is something that would cause me to willingly go into something like Elisha does. It makes me wonder what I am willing to do for the things I believe in.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

Breaking Down The Beginning, Middle, And End of Netflix's Newest 'To All The Boys' Movie

Noah Centineo and Lana Condor are back with the third and final installment of the "To All The Boys I've Loved Before" series


Were all teenagers and twenty-somethings bingeing the latest "To All The Boys: Always and Forever" last night with all of their friends on their basement TV? Nope? Just me? Oh, how I doubt that.

I have been excited for this movie ever since I saw the NYC skyline in the trailer that was released earlier this year. I'm a sucker for any movie or TV show that takes place in the Big Apple.

Keep Reading... Show less

4 Ways To Own Your Story, Because Every Bit Of It Is Worth Celebrating

I hope that you don't let your current chapter stop you from pursuing the rest of your story.

Photo by Manny Moreno on Unsplash

Every single one of us has a story.

I don't say that to be cliché. I don't say that to give you a false sense of encouragement. I say that to be honest. I say that to be real.

Keep Reading... Show less
Politics and Activism

How Young Feminists Can Understand And Subvert The Internalized Male Gaze

Women's self-commodification, applied through oppression and permission, is an elusive yet sexist characteristic of a laissez-faire society, where women solely exist to be consumed. (P.S. justice for Megan Fox)

Paramount Pictures

Within various theories of social science and visual media, academics present the male gaze as a nebulous idea during their headache-inducing meta-discussions. However, the internalized male gaze is a reality, which is present to most people who identify as women. As we mature, we experience realizations of the perpetual male gaze.

Keep Reading... Show less

It's Important To Remind Yourself To Be Open-Minded And Embrace All Life Has To Offer

Why should you be open-minded when it is so easy to be close-minded?


Open-mindedness. It is something we all need a reminder of some days. Whether it's in regards to politics, religion, everyday life, or rarities in life, it is crucial to be open-minded. I want to encourage everyone to look at something with an unbiased and unfazed point of view. I oftentimes struggle with this myself.

Keep Reading... Show less

14 Last Minute Valentine's Day Gifts Your S.O. Will Love

If they love you, they're not going to care if you didn't get them some expensive diamond necklace or Rolex watch; they just want you.


Let me preface this by saying I am not a bad girlfriend.

I am simply a forgetful one.

Keep Reading... Show less
Student Life

10 Helpful Tips For College Students Taking Online Courses This Semester

Here are several ways to easily pass an online course.

Photo by Vlada Karpovich on Pexels

With spring semester starting, many college students are looking to take courses for the semester. With the pandemic still ongoing, many students are likely looking for the option to take online courses.

Online courses at one time may have seemed like a last minute option for many students, but with the pandemic, they have become more necessary. Online courses can be very different from taking an on-campus course. You may be wondering what the best way to successfully complete an online course is. So, here are 10 helpful tips for any student who is planning on taking online courses this semester!

Keep Reading... Show less

Take A Look At The Extravagant Lane Woods Jewelry Collection For Valentine's Gift Ideas

So if you are currently looking to purchase jewelry for yourself or as a romantic gift for your S.O., you should definitely look at the marvelous and ornately designed Lane Woods Jewelry collection


Just like diamonds are a girl's best friend, so are pearls, rubies, gold, emeralds, and any type of luxurious jewelry you can get your hands on! A woman is incomplete without a piece of jewelry on her and it is a gorgeous accessory required for all occasions. So if you are currently looking to purchase jewelry for yourself or as a romantic gift for your S.O., you should definitely look at the marvelous and ornately designed Lane Woods Jewelry collection.

Keep Reading... Show less

50 Iconic Quotes From 'The Golden Girls' That Will Always Make You Laugh

"People waste their time pondering whether a glass is half empty or half full. Me, I just drink whatever's in the glass."


"The Golden Girls" created history when it first premiered in 1985 setting the stage of strong-willed female characters who are aging gracefully with dignity. It is a treasure trove filled with humorous scenes and situations that will always be relevant to watch. I still rejoice in watching these spectacular women embrace life with full stride and the way they always strive to focus on the brighter side of life.

These 4 dynamic and awe-inspiring women taught us that age is indeed nothing more than a number and that we can set out to accomplish anything our heart desires at any time.

Keep Reading... Show less
Facebook Comments