* DarknessInducedAudienceApathy: Not that it's BlackAndBlackMorality, but that you just ''know'' how it's going to end, and that nothing Eliezar can do can possibly stop it. And everything that can go wrong, '''will.'''
* FirstInstallmentWins: ''Dawn'' and ''Day'' weren't quite as well-received, though they're still critically respected.
* MoralEventHorizon: The stuff that the Nazis do doesn't as much cross the horizon as '''completely barrel through it'''. It starts with the mention of the Nazis [[WouldHurtAChild using Jewish infants for target practice]] and it gets worse from there.
* NightmareFuel: Besides being about, you know, the holocaust, the fact that these are real experiences make it worse. Namely, in the first chapter, it's mentioned that the Nazis use Jewish babies for [[MoralEventHorizon target practice.]]
** The death pits. [[spoiler:The line of prisoners that had just arrived at Birkenau is going towards the pit, ever so slowly. Elie and his father are just about to walk into the pit, with Elie saying that he would have died for sure, but the line bends away at the last second.]]
** There's also that kid [[spoiler: who fought his dad to death for a bit of bread.]] Doubles as absolute TearJerker.
* SomeAnvilsNeedToBeDropped: Elie, in his writings and in speeches, makes it very clear that indifference is an atrocity that can only lead to other atrocities.
** "Where is God?"
* VindicatedByHistory: The book's popularity really took off when [[Series/TheOprahWinfreyShow Oprah Winfrey]] recommended it in 2006.