Quotes or quotations are phrases, sentences, lines taken from a literary work. They often represent some universal truths and themes of a story, play, or poem. Night by Elie Wiesel has famous quotes given for different situations. These quotations are often cited and referenced in various situations. Some of the quotations from Night have been explained below.
Quotes in Night
Why did I pray? Strange question. Why did I live? Why did I breathe? “I don’t know,” I told him, even more troubled and ill at ease. “I don’t know.” From that day on, I saw him often. He explained to me, with great emphasis, that every question possessed a power that was lost in the answer…
Eliezer speaks about his religious knowledge. He even questions himself why he prays, and why he lives. At this stage, these questions seem strange. Then when he cannot find answers, Moishe the Beadle tells him the importance of asking a question and finding its answer. He tells him that a question has its own power.
The race toward death had begun. First edict: Jews were prohibited from leaving their residences for three days, under penalty of death. Moishe the Beadle came running to our house. “I warned you,” he shouted. The race toward death had begun.
Moishe the Beadle meets Eliezer and tells him that he had already warned the people of Sighet that they would be killed. Therefore, now the race is toward death. There is a first-order from the German that Jews cannot leave their homes or face the death penalty. Moishe then meets Eliezer and repeats his warning.
My father’s view was that it was not all bleak, or perhaps he just did not want to discourage the others, to throw salt on their wounds: “The yellow star? So what? It’s not lethal…”
The narrator, Eliezer, is stating that his father was not depressed at all. Perhaps it was because he did not want to worry others about the yellow signs asked by the Germans that the Jews should display. His father Shlomo says that this is not a deadly sign as it is only a yellow star.
The heat, the thirst, the stench, the lack of air, were suffocating us. Yet all that was nothing compared to her screams, which tore us apart. A few more days and all of us would have started to scream.
Eliezer narrates that all the Jews are piled up in a train where a lady, Madame Schachter, starts screaming. Although they were thirsty and feeling suffocating, her screams were adding to their woes. They were afraid that they would also start screaming after a few days if she continued in that way.
EVER SHALL I FORGET that night, the first night in camp, that turned my life into one long night seven times sealed?
Eliezer speaks these lines to himself, saying that he would not forget that night when he entered the camps. That night changed everything as the Holocaust began. He lost his innocence, and his memory is locked. That night has transformed itself into a permanent memory in his mind. The seven seals are a symbol of something stronger taken from Judaism.
My father had just been struck, in front of me, and I had not even blinked. I had watched and kept silent. Only yesterday, I would have dug my nails into this criminal’s flesh. Had I changed that much?
Eliezer recalls the moment when a Kapo slapped his father. He was in shock and could not do anything. It means that the authority and power of the Germans were stronger and they feared them. In the minds of the Jewish people, they knew they had to bear the oppression for the sake of family and religion. Eliezer wonders how indifferent he had become from a fiery young man to a person who couldn’t care.
Why, but why would I bless Him? Every fiber in me rebelled. Because He caused thousands of children to burn in His mass graves?
On a Jewish holiday, Eliezer questions his belief of blessing God. He questions even the existence of God. He is angry because God is doing nothing while millions of people were already burned or shot to death and thrown in the mass graves. Therefore, he doesn’t want to bow down before the divine authority.
We were the masters of nature, the masters of the world. We had transcended everything—death, fatigue, our natural needs. We were stronger than cold and hunger, stronger than the guns and the desire to die, doomed and rootless, nothing but numbers, we were the only men on earth.
Eliezer mentions that the Jews have overcome the world after the holocaust. Though millions lost their lives, they defeated everything including death, fatigue, hunger, and more. He claims that they have suffered so much that they do not think that more terrible cruelty could befall upon them than the Holocaust.
“Meir, my little Meir! Don’t you recognize me…You’re killing your father… I have bread…for you too… for you too…” He collapsed.
Here the narrator telling the story of a father and a son. There is so much hunger with the scarcity of food looming larger over them that a son is killing his father to get the bread, while the father is constantly reminding him that he is his son. Finally, he falls down to die. These lines are important as they show that relationships have lost their meanings in times of chaos.
I tightened my grip on my father’s hand. The old, familiar fear: not to lose him. Very close to us stood the tall chimney of the crematorium’s furnace. It no longer impressed us.
Eliezer recalls the last moments with his father. He holds his father, who used to squeeze his hands back to assure him. However, before Shlomo’s death, his grip was not felt by Eliezer. The crematorium furnace does not impress them as they were nearing death. They have seen so much death that this symbol of devastation impacted them very little.