This is a sentence I read from Reader's Digest:"The cold, dark night stretched dauntingly ahead.",

my question is, why the word "ahead" here necessarily?

Will it make sense if I drop it in the sentence?

Thanks for your help at it.
'Ahead' makes it clear that the speaker is considering the night from the vantage point (or perhaps in this case from the 'disvantage' point) of its beginning. Dropping it makes the sentence a bit odd.
Mister Micawber'Ahead' makes it clear that the speaker is considering the night from the vantage point (or perhaps in this case from the 'disvantage' point) of its beginning. Dropping it makes the sentence a bit odd.
I'm sorry, but I don't get it at all.

By considering the night from the vantage point you mean she's describing it in a perspective/tone that is beneficial to her? She said so so that it makes her look better?

Because that's what the dictionary suggests the word means.
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No: that's why I coined the antonym 'disvantage point'.
Mister MicawberNo: that's why I coined the antonym 'disvantage point'.
I still don't get it,

what does this sentence have to do with her taking an advantage or not?
The words cold, dark, stretched and dauntingly all suggest that the speaker has an unhappy view of the coming night.

(We are talking about vantage/disvantage, not advantage/disadvantage.)
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