Night by Elie Wiesel and “Hangman” by Maurice Ogden both make strong points of view towards the battle between mankind and evil. Wiesel’s personal experiences give the reader very specific and down to the point accounts of the Holocaust. In contrast, Ogden musical poem gives the reader a very indistinguishable idea of what is taking place. One must examine rhyme over and over to be given the full impact of the poem. The battle against evil may be compared on the basis of their narration, their subject, their language usage, and their tone and mood.
The narration of both Night and in “Hangman” can be compared and contrasted in several ways. The first person narrative is the main point of view used in both Night and “Hangman”. In the last section of “Hangman” Ogden reverts to the point of view, first person singular as contrasting to the rest of the poem, which is presented in the point of view, first person collective. Another way Night and “Hangman” contrast themselves is one is an actual real life experience and the other is a fictions poem. The narrator in “Hangman” and the author in Night differ in how the affected the events of the novel or poem. The narrator in “Hangman” was more of a witness to the events that happened. Now one must not think that the author of Night did not witness any accounts of evil though. The author of Night participated in many of the brutal acts of violence committed in the concentration camps, in contrast to the narrator of “Hangman” who only found himself in the action near the conclusion of the poem.
The subject that both “Hangman” and Night revolve around is essentially the same idea; kill anyone you see of a certain group of people. The only difference between the two is that in Night the Jews and only Jews are slaughtered and in “Hangman” a foreigner, a man with a big mouth, a Jew, and a black man are all killed. The rest of the killings that the hangman committed are not explained in detail, but the reader knows he murdered many more.
The use of language in both Night and in “Hangman” is similar at times, but then they vary greatly from each other at other times. When the authors are describing the setting it is a time when they are alike. Weisel describes one the concentration camps in Night like this, “The camp looked as though it had suffered an epidemic: empty and dead.” (Wiesel 45). “The next day’s sun looked mildly down/ On roof and street in our quiet town” (Ogden 134). Is how Ogden describes his setting of the third section of his poem. A huge difference in the style of writing between the two works by Weisel and Ogden is that Weisel uses very dull and direct writing and Ogden uses very rhythmic and musical style of writing.
Both Wiesel and Ogden set a negative tone in their writings. In “Hangman” the narrator never does a thing while he watches person after person is being executed hoping that that was the one who served the hangman best. All through out Night Elie never tries to help anyone, except his father. But even in the end he gives up all hope and has the same motive as the rest of the young men who were at the concentration camps, that it is every man for him self. The moods that are set by the authors are negative as well. Both Wiesel and Ogden start there writing off with a depressing and awful occurrence. Such as when Wiesel tells how Moché described the concentration camps he saw. Also how Ogden starts off his poem by saying “Into our town the Hangman came, /Smelling of gold and blood and flame-…” (Ogden 134). Both of the works start with a negative tone and mood that pull one closer to the battle of evil.
The battle of mankind verse evil is expressed many ways thought out the context of Night and “Hangman”. It is expressed in the narration with the use of real life experiences and awful occurrences. The subjects of two writings generally deal with the same thing, killing. The language usage, tone, and mood all present examples of the battle against the evil.
Courtney from Study Moose
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