Night Summative Assessment: Essay Outline


Choose from ONE of the following to write a fully developed, formal literary analysis essay. Show your choice by highlighting your chosen prompt below and by signing to the academic honesty policy below.

Identify one or more symbols, motifs, OR examples of imagery. What role does it/they play in developing the theme of the work?

Note that you must identify the overall theme of the text in order to answer this prompt.

Use evidence from the text (symbols, motifs, or examples of imagery) to argue the theme.

At the end of the memoir, Wiesel writes of looking in a mirror for the first time since leaving the concentration camp. He writes:

“From the depths of the mirror, a corpse was contemplating me.

The look in his eyes as he gazed at me has never left me” (115).

Why is this an effective ending to the text? How does the ending help emphasize the

theme of the text?

Note that you must identify the overall theme of the text in order to answer this prompt.

Use evidence from the text (the quote above as well as other examples) to argue the theme.


*This entire packet is due on: Thursday, 11/19 or Friday 11/20.

*Because this is the foundation for the rest of the essay, it is imperative that you thoroughly complete the outline. Failure to complete the outline will result in a deduction of 10 points on your final draft.

*Putting in the work on this outline will ultimately allow a more efficient transition into writing the essay!

*Remember to have academic integrity for all parts of the essay, including the outline. Students who choose to plagiarize on the final draft will earn a zero. Please type your name below, acknowledging that you understand this policy:

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Step #2

Planning the Essay:

Topic/motif: literary analysis of the night by Elie Wiesel

Theme (universal message/lesson learned): inhumanity




Grab your audience’s attention with an intriguing or shocking statement, anecdote, analogy, appropriate and fitting question or quote. Elie Wiesel’s “Night” is a short tale describing the most painful time in human history (1941-1945). In it, Elie raises questions and tries to answer them while internally focusing on the current tribulations. Among the concerns discussed are God’s way of dealing with humanity, that a group may be dealt with atrociously. In contrast, the other group is represented by criminals who remain immune from retribution. This is expressed in his statement regarding witnesses who want to testify that they have no right to rob future generations of knowledge about the past. Elie claims that to forget the dead is tantamount to re-enacting their execution. Elie’s faith in the preservation of humanity is solid and is founded upon the deep conviction that the universe is a Supreme power. The human heart remains adamant that the principle of perfect science is vital. Also, he stresses the importance of forgiveness considerably as he is opposed to people who forget about the tragic events to emphasize the theme.


Provide your audience with some sentences of background information about your topic. Make this topic relevant and interesting for your audience. Do not overly summarize the text. In short: Think of this as a way to blend your hook with your claim statement. In Night, Elie Wiesel explores how countless religious people were heading to death chambers with hollow faces. He sees the Germans putting the little in nocent children in the gas chambers or sending them to the gallows. The essence of this life on earth and creation was why he took an interest in religious studies and religion. When he reaches the concentration camp, he starts to doubt the presence of God. He also thinks that if such great force existed, God would not allow such occurrences, and he would protect the chosen people. As the internal struggle for the faith continues, he insists that “man is bigger, greater than God.” Indeed, most of the camp’s inmates face the same question of God’s reality. It is evident that every person is questioning the very presence of God, weeping, ‘Where is God? ‘Elie is numb and loses faith in God as he feels he will never believe in God. The theme of faith in God, therefore, also goes along with other thematic ideas like faith.

Claim Statement (Final sentence of intro. paragraph):

In night is used in the book as a metaphor for death, the soul’s darkness, and lack of faith. It comes up repeatedly as an image. And when the scene is set during the day, the night may be invoked. Remember all the horrible things that happen at night: Mrs. Schächter has her dreams of flames, hell, and death; Eliezer and his father arrive at Auschwitz and see the smokestacks and stand in line all night long with the scent of death in their noses; the night the soup tastes like corpses; they walk through long nights and, piled on top of each other, smothering each other to death. As Eliezer himself says, “The days were like nights, and the nights left the dregs of their darkness in our hearts” (7.22). The night is also a metaphor for how the soul was immersed in pain and hopelessness.

Elie offers a comprehensive account of the deplorable conditions faced by refugees who have been imprisoned against their will in the Nazi concentration camp. He vividly recalls the babies’ brutal slaughter that Nazi soldiers threw in the gas chambers and mercilessly murdered. He also does not fail to note the paralyzing terror that hit all the detainees during transfer to another concentration camp. His account of the gruesome changes shows that many prisoners have lost their lives. Elie referred to the mass killing of Jews as a barbaric act that he could not rationalize. In his disillusioned condition, Elie resorted to the sarcasm with which he congratulated Hitler for keeping his pledge to rid Germany of vermin, citizens of Jewish descent (Wiesel 80). Elie found reassurance and comfort in the fact that his dad stayed at his side for years of hard work; however, he struggled to understand why God allowed such inhumanity to endure.

Claim Statement Frames–use these sentence starters to guide your essay focus:

1. In Night, Elie Wiesel applies, argues, describes, explains, explores _________________(Context–MOTIF/SYMBOL/EXAMPLES OF IMAGERY)______________ to support/develop/emphasize the theme _____________________________________.

2. The theme of __________________in Night, by Elie Wiesel, is developed/described/explored through ____________ (context–MOTIF/SYMBOL/EXAMPLES OF IMAGERY)__________________.


Body Paragraph # 1. Write the paragraph’s main idea. All of the sentences in this paragraph should support this main idea.

Elie responded to Jewish mass murder as a barbarous act he could not rationalize. In his frustrated situation, Elie used the sarcasm with which he thanked Hitler for having retained his undertaking to rid Germany of vermin, Jewish descent people and he was encouraged by the fact that his father had remained with him for years of toil, but struggled to understand why God allowed this inhumanity to persist.


TOPIC SENTENCE Begin with a direct sentence that states the topic of the paragraph.

**This should be an opinion (no “I”!). Elie suggests that people ought to consider negative aspects of the experience to avoid making errors in the present and future. Finally, the last appeal for Elie involves people who would prefer non-violent alternatives to violent explosions leading to death. The security of mankind is unchangeable and is based on a firm conviction that the world is ruling by the Supreme Power. The book material should not be focused on technical study, but is based on memories of experiences and their cognitive assessment (Wiesel) It must be remembered.

BLEND + EXAMPLE Blend your first direct quote. This is also known as “the says” section of an academic Paragraph.

**Use Blending Methods #1-#3. Remember to CITE the quote!

“Quote…” (Wiesel 23). You may refer to Slide Decks 10/1-10/2 and 10/5 – 10/6 to help you review how to blend, quote, and cite properly. At the end of the memoir, Wiesel writes of looking in a mirror for the first time since leaving the concentration camp. He writes:

“From the depths of the mirror, a corpse was contemplating me.

The look in his eyes as he gazed at me has never left me” (115).

Why is this an effective ending to the text? How does the ending help emphasize the theme of the text?

EXPLANATION Explain how your example supports your topic sentence and claim. This is also known as the “means” section. **You may refer to Slide Decks 10/26 – 10/27 to see the student models for our first Academic Paragraph Assignment (from The Kite Runner unit) to help you review how to organize your body paragraphs. With this picture, Wiesel leaves us at the end of his career, and it is a haunting vision in which Wiesel no longer recognizes the individual before him. By identifying himself as a skeleton, Wiesel also reveals that he is living death; merely being alive does not mean that his soul or humanity has survived. That Wiesel separates himself from this corpse is also a strong way to indicate that his conscience did not know this being before him; whatever had happened in the death camps deprived him of his sense of self.


Transition to your next piece of evidence.

**Consider using one of these TRANSITIONAL PHRASES to the right.


To compare or link similar ideas: also, moreover, in addition, furthermore, likewise…

To contrast ideas: however, nevertheless, on the other hand, although, conversely, neither…nor, and yet…

To indicate time: meanwhile, eventually, while, ultimately…

To show cause and effect: therefore, as result, thus, unless, in order to…

To add information: moreover, furthermore…



RESTATE THE TOPIC Bring the topic of your paper back to your audience’s attention. Emphasize the importance of this topic. Elie is against people forgetting the horrific events that occurred. Elie argues that people need to consider unpleasant aspects of the experience to avoid making mistakes in the present and future.

RESTATE CLAIM Using different words, restate your claim and your key points (not every point…your MAIN points). This should be a brief summary of what you’ve already written, but written in a fresh and entirely new way. Finally, Elie’s last plea is about people preferring nonviolent solutions over violent outbursts that result in the loss of life. The protection of the human race is unwavering and is founded on a strong belief in the presence of the Supreme Power ruling the universe.

FINAL THOUGHT Provide your audience with a final thought that brings the reader full circle. This can be a call to action, a reference back to something in the introduction, an insight into something larger, or a theme. It should be remembered that books’ content is not focused on technical research; however, it is based on memories of experiences and their cognitive evaluation. He remembered vividly the horrific killing of the babies which Nazi soldiers threw in and mercilessly killed in gas chambers. He also states the paralysing fear that afflicted all the prisoners when they were transferred to another concentration camp. His account of the horrific changes suggests that many inmates have died.