Who Is Juliek In The Night Why Did He Play His Violin As He Lay Dying In The Mass Bodies?

Updated 30 September, 2023
Juliek is a young polish musician and Eliezer’s friend in “Night”. In one of the most famous scenes in of the novel, Juliek plays his violin as he laya dying in the mass of bodies. He does it to make the end as pleasant as he can for everyone. He wants to die doing something he loves from his previous life.
Detailed answer:

Juliek is a minor character in Elie Wiesel’s memoir. He is a polish boy who plays the violin during the tough times throughout the story. When Juliek plays his violin it inspires some sense of hope among the prisoners, including Eliezer.
In chapter 6, Elie Weisel describes Juliek playing his violin as 'The darkness enveloped us. All I could hear was the violin, and it was as if Juliek's soul had become his bow. He was playing his life. His whole being gliding over the strings. His unfulfilled hopes. His charred past, his extinguished future. He played that which he would never play again'. Night in this example represents the peacefulness of death.
Juliek’s episode adds to the theme of silence because Juliek playing the violin in the crowded silent barracks, changes the symbolism of silence which throughout the book has been interpreted as one of terror, nightmares, and desperate exhaustion. Earlier in the book, when the silence was broken by Madame Schaecter, silence was an emphasized fear. But now with Juliek breaking the silence, this silence is a bit of peace and hope. Juliek disrupts the silence, this time the night with beauty: 'He played a fragment from Beethoven's concerto. I had never heard sounds so pure. In such silence.'
Juliek had accepted his hopelessness and his inevitable death, deciding to exit the world in the most beautiful way that he could – by playing his violin.

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