Analysis of The Judges by Elie Wiesel Essay

Analysis of The Judges by Elie Wiesel Essay

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The Judges, by Elie Wiesel, tells the story of five passengers on a flight from New York to Tel Aviv, who find themselves in a tumultuous situation after their plane is forced to land due to bad weather. The passengers, saved from the weather by a local beneficiary, quickly realize the malicious intent of their host. The Judge, as their host deems himself, interrogates the passengers and forces them to justify their reasons for living in his maniacal game. The passengers introspectively contemplate their own lives as they judge the lives of each other. The unique situation that the passengers find themselves in permits the author to express a gamut of tones and attitudes. Wiesel conveys tones of anticipation, anxiety, darkness, fear, and panic through techniques including diction, imagery, and syntax.
Wiesel’s eloquent use of diction conveys the dark, cynical, and remorseful tones that develop throughout the novel. The diction expresses the author’s changing tone by manipulating the tone conveyed by the narrator. The narrator calls the host a “terrorist” (Wiesel 112) and the passengers “hostages” (Wiesel 113) and “victims” (Wiesel 161), depicting a dark tone. This tone sharply contrasts with the tone at the beginning of the novel when the host and the passengers are referred to as the “beneficiary” (Wiesel 6) and “survivors” (Wiesel 4). Diction continues to contribute to the tone when the narrator describes the initial exchange between the judge and the survivors using words such as “eloquence” and “warmth” (Wiesel 40) to convey a welcoming attitude. The author’s tone changes and in the later dialogues in which the Judge is described as “rambling in a monotonous tone” (Wiesel 160). Later, a tone of remorse is conveyed as the host...

... middle of paper ... this imagery conjures the mournful attitude of the author.
Elie Wiesel’s articulate use of literary techniques enables him to express a variety of tones in The Judges. The diction Wiesel uses enables him to express specific tones despite the lack of verbal inflection. He also uses syntax by varying the sentence length and punctuation to depict a spectrum of tones. Furthermore, the use of imagery influences tone by illustrating the horrid situations trapping the survivors, both physically and psychologically. Wiesel’s powerful use of diction, sentence structure, and imagery effectively convey the tones of anticipation, anxiety, fear, and regret throughout the novel.

Works Cited

Wiesel, Elie. The Judges. New York: Schocken Books, 2004.
Roberts, Edgar V. Writing About Literature Eleventh Edition. Upper Saddle River: Pearson Education, Inc, 2006. Print.

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