In Night by Elie Wiesel, the motif of eyes serves to show how a character changes and the effects it has on the person’s life. The book shows how Moshe the Beadle’s eyes change before and after the catastrophe. The eyes are symbolic of the state of a person’s soul. The eyes of an old man are a symbol of life and death. So, what do eyes symbolize in night?
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The Night in Elie Wiesel’s novel evokes death, the darkness of the soul, and the loss of faith. Though the story takes place during the day, night is invoked frequently in the novel. For example, in the book, Mrs. Schachter sees visions of fire, and Eliezer’s father dies at night. Elie’s father is also found dead during the night.
From a spiritual perspective, eyes are an excellent transmitter of light. Even ancient spiritual adepts understood the power of the eyes. When focused, the eyes are like laser pointers and can move objects. It’s no wonder, then, that the eyes have been associated with inner power since antiquity. And it’s no wonder that they’ve remained a symbol of inner power for thousands of years. As with all powerful symbols, they can represent more than just physical appearance.
Eliezer Wiesel exploits the symbolism of darkness in Night. In Night, Eliezer first arrives at Birkenau/Auschwitz during night. He believes that the world without God is no longer worthy of existence. This idea is deeply rooted in Wiesel’s novel. Although the book is a fictional story, it does offer a powerful lesson. While night is an inherently dark place, darkness is also a symbolic time of death.