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Night Chapter Names

Published on Nov 22, 2015

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Night Chapter Names

By Marlon Schumacher

Self-Deception and Oblivion

CHAPTER 1-p. 3-22
The chapter name reflects how the Jews in Sighet were lying to themselves that the German officers moving them was something good, when in reality, it's actually something very bad.
The picture shows a man putting his head in the sand, which could mean that he's trying to make himself oblivious to his surroundings. This reflects how the Jews of Sighet kept themselves oblivious to the danger of the Germans taking them away by being optimistic about the presence of the Germans.
"Little by little life returned to 'normal.' The barbed wire that encircled us like a wall did not fill us with real fear. In fact, we felt this was not a bad thing; we were entirely among ourselves. A small Jewish republic...A Jewish Council was appointed, as well as a Jewish police force, a welfare agency, a labor committee, a health agency-a whole governmental apparatus.
People thought this was a good thing. We would no longer have to look at all those hostile faces, endure those hate-filled stares. No more fear. No more anguish. We would live among Jews, among brothers..."(Wiesel, 11-12)
The quote shows how the Jews kept on thinking to themselves that the ghettos were actually a good thing, when in reality, they were the opposite, hence the name given for this chapter.

Losing Sanity

CHAPTER 2-p. 23-28
I chose this title for the chapter because as Elie is traveling in the cattle car, he and the other Jews have to deal with Mrs. Schachter, who has gone insane and was constantly hallucinating in her head that there was a fire outside.
This picture reflects Mrs. Schachter seeing hallucinations of fire outside of the cattle car throughout Elie's trip to Birkenau. Ironically at the end of the chapter, the Jews see an actual fire from the crematorium at the Birkenau camp.
"'She is hallucinating because she is thirsty, poor woman... That's why she speaks of flames devouring her...'
But it was all in vain. Our terror could no longer be contained. Our nerves had reached a breaking point. Our very skin was aching. It was as though madness had infected all of us. We gave up. A few young men forced her to sit down, then bound and gagged her."(Wiesel, 25-26)
This quote does not only help show Mrs. Schachter's insanity, but it also implies that may have driven some of the Jews insane as well when they ended up bounding and gagging her to be quiet. This action of the Jews showed that they were beginning to turn against each other since Mrs. Schacter was one of them.

No Longer Humans

Chapter 3-p. 29-46
I chose this name for the chapter because this was when the Nazis began to strip the prisoners of their rights, dehumanizing them and making them less superior than the Germans.
This picture showing a human figure moving on a hamster wheel relates the dehumanization of the prisoners at the concentration camps because the Nazis treated the prisoners like animals rather than humans, while the human figure in the picture is acting more like an animal than a human.
"In a few seconds, we had ceased to be men......The student of Talmud, the child I was, had been consumed by the flames. All that was left was a shape that resembled me. My soul had been invaded-and devoured-by a black flame."(Wiesel, 37)
This quote helps show what the process of becoming less like a free human felt to Elie when he was at Birkenau.


Chapter 4-p. 47-65
The chapter name reflects the pain and torture that Elie, his father, and other prisoners experienced at Buna.
The image depicts rope used for hanging people, which reflects the Nazis hanging some prisoners as punishment for their particular actions at Buna.
"Idek was on edge, he had trouble restraining himself. Suddenly, he exploded. The victim this time was my father......And he began beating him with an iron bar......I had watched it all happening without moving. I kept silent. In fact, I thought of stealing away in order not to suffer the blows. What's more, if I felt anger at that moment, it was not directed at the Kapo but at my father. Why couldn't he have avoided Idek's wrath? That was what life in a concentration camp had made of me..."(Wiesel, 54)
This quote shows an example of harsh treatment from SS officers and prisoners (Elie's dad being beaten) and the emotional pain (Elie's reaction to his father's beating) that some of the prisoners experienced in Buna.

No Faith Left

Chapter 5-p. 66-84
The chapter name helps show that Elie has lost faith in and turned against God.
The picture of the torn piece of paper with the word "trust" on it helps show that Elie no longer trusts God because the image can mean broken (or lost) trust in someone or something.
"It was Yom Kippur year-round. But there were those who said we should fast, precisely because it was dangerous to do so. We needed to show God that even here, locked in hell, we were capable of singing His praises.
I did not fast. First of all, to please my father who had forbidden me to do so. And then, there was no longer any reason for me to fast. I no longer accepted God's silence. As I swallowed my ration of soup, I turned that act into a symbol of rebellion, of protest against Him."(Wiesel, 69)
This quote helps show that Elie has turned against God because he refused to fast for Yom Kippur, partly because he had lost trust in God.

The Sheer Cold

Chapter 6-p. 85-97
I chose this chapter name because it reflects the harsh conditions at the abandoned village and the harsh actions of some of the SS officers and prisoners. The term "cold" can be an adjective that's equivalent to words such as "harsh" and "cruel."
The image of the footprints in the snow reflects Elie and the other prisoners running in the snowy weather from Buna to the abandoned village.
"A terrible thought crossed my mind: What if he had wanted to be rid of his father? He had felt his father growing weaker and, believing that the end was near, had thought by this separation to free himself of a burden that could diminish his own chance for survival.
It was good that I had forgotten all that. And I was glad that Rabbi Eliahu continued to search for his beloved son."(Wiesel, 91)
The quote shows an example of a cold (harsh) action of a prisoner (which was Rabbi Eliahu's son abandoning his father while they were running) during chapter six, hence the name I gave it.

Every Man For Himself

Chapter 7-p. 98-103
This chapter name reflects the prisoners turning against each other in the cattle cars for their own survival.
The picture depicts three birds fighting for food. While Elie and the prisoners were on the cattle car trip to Buchenwald, many prisoners fought each other for pieces of bread that were thrown into the cattle car by Germans.
"In the wagon where the bread had landed, a battle had ensued. Men were hurling themselves against each other. Beasts of prey unleashed, animal hate in their eyes. An extraordinary vitality possessed them, sharpening their teeth and nails."(Wiesel, 101)
The quote shows that the prisoners in the cattle cars would fight each other desperately like animals for pieces of bread that were thrown into the cars; which is an example of the prisoners turning against each other for survival.

All In Vain

Chapter 8-p. 104-112
I chose this chapter name because in the chapter, Elie's father died of dysentery. This made Elie's effort to keep his father alive useless because his father ended up dying before the Holocaust was over.
I chose the picture of the bunk cots because Elie spent his last moment with his father in a bunk cot at the Buchenwald camp.
"I knew that I was no longer arguing with him but with Death itself, with Death that he had already chosen."(Wiesel, 105)
This quote implies that Elie knew that his father was going to die, despite his efforts to keep him alive.

Nothing Is The Same

Chapter 9-p. 113-115
This chapter name reflects when Elie looked at the mirror in the hospital, he no longer saw the same reflection of himself prior to the Holocaust, but rather a human corpse, which reflects him being dehumanized by the Nazis.
The picture depicts an eaten apple's reflection of an uneaten apple, which it once was and will never be able to return to that state. This reflects Elie seeing a reflection of a corpse in the mirror, rather than his normal self; and would've never been able to become what he used to be because of his experience of the Holocaust.
"From the depths of the mirror, a corpse was contemplating me.
The look in his eyes as he gazed at me has never left me."(Wiesel, 115)
The quote is implying that Elie has been haunted by his experience of the Holocaust and what he became after it, making it impossible for him to return to his normal life before the Holocaust, hence the name that I gave for this chapter.