Survival in Auschwitz by Primo Levi Term Paper

Pages: 3 (936 words)  ·  Style: Chicago  ·  Bibliography Sources: 1  ·  File: .docx  ·  Topic: Drama - World

Primo Levi good journalist reports the news in an objective fashion, observing and describing everything that is taking place regardless of his or her own personal bias. Some writers feel so strongly about their own beliefs that despite attempting to paint a factual picture, their stance on an issue is apparent. The more one is closely involved with a topic, the more difficult it is to separate oneself from the written piece. Imagine then, how difficult it was for Primo Levi, author of Survival in Auschwitz, to take a journalistic approach to his experiences in a German death camp. Yet, that is what he did. He clearly documented life, and death, in the camp despite the fact that he was completely physically, emotionally and spiritually part of these horrible days.

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Levi explains in the "Afterword" of Survival in Auschwitz in an interview with the author Philip Roth that he used his recording of the day-to-day occurrences as a means of survival and staying mentally balanced. "And yet what you say, that for me thinking and observing were survival factors, is true..." (1996, 180). The beginning of Survival in Auschwitz takes place in the train that is bringing the Jews to the camp. Levi's clinical and distanced descriptions are so vivid that the reader is automatically a part of the action. He notes: "Exactly like this, detail for detail: goods wagons closed from the outside, with men, women and children pressed together without pity, like cheap merchandise, for a journey towards nothingness, a journey down there, towards the bottom" (1996, p.17) and "It was the very discomfort, the blows, the cold, the thirst that kept us aloft in the void of bottomless despair, both during the journey and afterward."

Term Paper on Survival in Auschwitz by Primo Levi Assignment

At the beginning of their torment, the prisoners are unique individuals with their own names, family experiences, histories, and specialties. Gradually they become non-citizens, as they are ostracized and deprived of their identities. They are taken from their loved ones, separated from all their belongings, and transported as animals to the slaughter house. After being packed together into a train like cattle, the prisoners reach Auschwitz and lose all they own except what is in the recesses of their minds. This is last time they will ever have any possessions, even their own bodies. They all begin to look the same as they receive the same clothes and have their heads shaved. They have become non-humans.

In his conversation with Roth, Levi explains about his role: "I remember having lived my Auschwitz year in a condition of spiritedness. I don't know if this depended on my professional background, or an unsuspected stamina, or on a sound instinct" (1996, p. 180). He never stopped recording the experiences and individuals around him, so much so that he forever held a distinct image… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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"Survival in Auschwitz by Primo Levi."  Essaytown.com.  November 7, 2007.  Accessed October 27, 2020.
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