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Foreshadowing Within the Story Night
Transcript of Foreshadowing Within the Story Night
What is Foreshadowing
Foreshadowing is a literary device that is used to indicate or warn the reader about future events.
Foreshadowing within the book, Night, can be seen in the beginning, as well as throughout the book. This method is used deliberately by the author to show importance of specific events.
Foreshadowing goes hand in hand with dramatic irony within the book
Foreshadowing Throughout Night
One day, Eliezer's mother told the family that she had "a premonition of evil" .
She saw two unfamiliar faces in the ghetto and she was certain they were "German officers from the Gestapo“.
“The yellow star? Oh well, what of it? You don’t die of it…”
This was said by Elie's father when the Germans first started imposing on the Jewish people's lives. He said it because he didn't want to dishearten the others about the situations beginning to occur within the town.
“Look! Look at this fire! This terrible fire! Have mercy on me!”
Elie Wiesel uses her hallucinations in his story to foreshadow what is about to happen to most of the men, women and children arriving at the camps.
Moishe The Beadle
Moishe was one of the first Jews to be sent out from Sighet. He tried to explain and warn the others of what he witnessed happened to all the foreign Jews expelled from Sighet with him within the camps.
He witnessed Jews digging a trench and then being shot and dumped into it, as well as babies being tossed into the air and shot by Nazi soldiers.
Foreshadowing is seen when Eliezer’s father, Shlomo, is selected as a weak one and therefore as someone to be killed. This foreshadows that his father is, in fact, growing weaker and will soon die.
He is, however, able to escape from his immediate fate. He prolongs his life by sneaking to the other group.
Moishe the Beadle States:
“You cannot understand. I was saved miraculously. I succeeded in coming back. Where did I get my strength? I wanted to return to Sighet to describe to you my death so that you might ready yourselves while there is still time. Life? I no longer care to live. I am alone. But I wanted to come back to warn you. Only no one is listening to me…”
Madame Schachter was a Jewish woman from Sighet who was deported in the same cattle car as Eliezer. She is considered crazy and annoying by the passengers riding with her on the train. She screams about a fire and about everyone being burned up, and her fellow passengers want nothing more than to silence her, thinking that she is hysterical.
However, in her fear, she is the most honest and accurate about what is going to happen, as everyone realizes when they approach the camp.
Why No One Listened
Many Jews in Sighet did not respond to Moishe the Beadle because it was easier to ignore their fear than deal with it head on.
With his warnings, he was placing their fear of Hitler and his followers directly in their face.
As the Holocaust got underway, people all over Europe were reluctant to believe that something so awful was happening. Most people didn't want to believe that man was capable of such brutality.
The initial reports of what was happening in the ghettos and in the camps were so horrific that most simply chose not to believe them.
Most people were unwilling to accept that Europeans, civilized, cultured and intelligent, were allowing this to happen. Sadly, those who were unwilling to believe the truth were often the first to be deported to the ghettos or the camps
Everyone on the train hated Madame Schachter because she was screaming about her vision of flames which no one could see. When Elie and his father get off the train, they see the thick black smoke and smell the flesh in the air around them and they see, for the first time, that Madame Schachter's vision were true.
Madame Schachter's vision of fire foreshadows the crematorium where people were sent, dead or alive, to be burned if they cease to be useful to the Nazi party.
Foreshadowing Leading to Appreciation of The Book
Night does not work like a normal novel, using foreshadowing to hint at surprises to come. The series of tragedies within the story hangs over the entire novel.
As early as the book’s dedication, “In memory of my parents and my little sister, Tzipora.” Ellie Wiesel makes it clear that Eliezer will be the only significant character in the book to survive the war.
In that case, we are not surprised by these character’s deaths, instead, Ellie's story shocks us with the details of the cruelty that the prisoners within the concentration camps experience.