One of the main themes throughout the book is the title of the book “Night”. There are references from Eliezer about night during the book, which are full of symbolism. The word “night” is used repeatedly, and Eliezer recounts every dusk, night and dawn through the entire book. For instance, Night could be a metaphor for the Holocaust—submerge the family and thousands of Jewish families in the darkness and misery of the concentration camps.
Another reference to night is the night before the family is taken to the ghetto, Eliezer explains, “Night. No one prayed, so that the night would pass quickly. The stars were only sparks of the fire, which devoured us. Should that fire die out one day, there would be nothing left in the sky but dead stars, dead eyes.
Throughout the camp, Eliezer comments on the fact that everyone is dying, some more quickly than others, and how the darkness has taken over the day. “Night” seems to refer to the living death of the concentration camps that Eliezer does not think will ever end.
Another main theme in the book is Eliezers respect for religion. Religion is very important to Eliezer, and in the beginning he focuses all his energy on religious study. Throughout the book, his attutude about religion changes as night progresses. In the beginning of the book, Moche tells Eliezer that one must seek to ask God the right questions, not to find out the right answers. One simply cannot understand the answer God gives: “You will find the true answers Eliezer, only within yourself.”
In the concentration camp Eliezer can’t understand why God allows so much death and destruction, and even though he is angry and questions God he never loses his faith. Although Eliezer never has his questions answered he never loses his faith. Eliezers evolving relationship with God is a major source of character development for himself.
The third important theme is the inadvertent role the Jews play in their destruction. The foolish optimism—nothing bad will happen. An...