“One day as I was looking in a mirror, I didn’t recognize myself…I then decided that since everything changes—even the face in the mirror changes—someone must speak about that change. Someone must speak about the former and that someone is I. I shall not speak about all the other things but I should speak, at least, about that face and that mirror and that change. That’s when I knew that I was going to write.”
Elie Wiesel in Conversation with Elie Wiesel
“I owe them my roots and memory. I am duty-bound to serve as their emissary, transmitting the history of their disappearance, even if it disturbs, even if it brings pain. Not to do so would be to betray them, and thus myself.” Elie Wiesel, “Why I Write,” in Confronting the Holocaust: The Impact of Elie Wiesel
One of the primary themes or messages Elie Wiesel said he has tried to deliver with Night is that all human beings have the responsibility to share with others how their past experiences have changed their identity and how those experiences affect others. Wiesel believes that, in order to understand the true impact of the Holocaust, survivors like himself must serve as messengers to current and future generations by “bearing witness” to the events of the Holocaust and by explaining how those events changed each individual’s identity.
II-Pre-Writing assignment: Personal Inventories
Before writing your autobiographical sketch, all students must complete 10 Personal Inventories that describe the important people, places, experiences, lessons, etc. in each person’s life. Since these inventories could include sensitive or private information, they will checked for credit but will not be read by anyone except the student who wrote them.
Write a story about an experience that affected you deeply and ought to be known by others. The story can be written in prose, can be a poem, can be a short story, can be a song, or another approved form of written artistic expression. In writing that story, answer the following questions:
Provide context: what was the year? how old were you? Where did you live? what were the circumstances surrounding the experience? Re-tell the experience from beginning (exposition, rising action) to end (climax, falling action, resolution): what happened? who was involved? when? where? why did it happen? Reflection: what were your thoughts about the story at the time it happened? what are your thoughts about the story now? Share the moral or lesson: how does your story relate to the way you see yourself and others? W hat did you learn? what lessons does your story teach others?
The sketch must be typed, point size 12, and double-spaced. The story is due on the day of the final.
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