Throughout his book, Night, Elie Wiesel recounts his experience of the anti-world; a place where time and traditional relationships are inverted. The anti-world is a place where “damned souls wander through the void, souls condemned to wander through space until the end of time, seeking redemption, seeking oblivion, without any hope of finding either”. Because the Holocaust is seemingly unimaginable, the author transports his readers to a separate dimension — i.e., the anti-world — to demonstrate the effects of Nazi rule on the Jewish population. Wiesel uses the extended metaphor of the “anti-world” and regularly employs inverse sentence structure — i.e., anastrophe — to illustrate the dissolution of time, meaning, and relationships during the Holocaust; ultimately demonstrating the torturous and inconceivable nature of this event.
At the start of the memoir, Wiesel describes the passing of time in a conventional sense; Moishe the Beadle “day after day, night after night, went from one Jewish house to the next”. However, by the author’s first night in the concentration camps, his life is turned into “one long night seven times sealed” and “the days now resembled the night, and the night left in their souls the dregs of their darkness”. Wiesel seems to use the metaphor of the “endless night” — a time of day often associated with fear and villainous tendencies — to imitate the pure terror of the Holocaust. Wiesel reverberates this idea at the end of the memoir, stating; “it is in his name that I speak to you and that I express to you my deepest gratitude as one who has emerged from the Kingdom of Night. We know that every moment is a moment of grace, every hour an offering; not to share them would mean to betray them”. In essence, Wiesel seems to use the dissolution of time to transfer readers to the anti-world in an attempt to illustrate the absurdity of the Holocaust.
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