What is an example of understatement in "Night" by Elie Wiesel?

1 Answer
Dec 3, 2017

I chose two understatements from Chapter 6!


"One died because one had to."

Elie Wiesel utilizes understatements generously throughout his memoir because most people know what the Holocaust consisted of. There was death and a lot of it. He finds no need to elaborate on it because he believes you, the reader, are already aware of what he could've seen in his time at the camps.

"Heavy snow continued to fall over the corpses."

There is little imagery regarding corpses in this part. If you remember this part in Chapter 6, Wiesel was actually reminiscing about his father's smile and a seemingly out-of-place quote is placed here. After he's done thinking about the smile, he brings up corpses, then his train of thought continues into something different. This, again, is because the audience most likely knows about the corpses and finds no need to spew poetics about it to paint a picture.