"After Auschwitz" Analysis

1155 words - 5 pages

Anne Sexton’s poem, “After Auschwitz,” struck me as a piece of writing that was, at first, difficult to interpret. There is no evident rhyming scheme, or sentences that clearly express what the poem is about. However, Sexton does incorporate the use of metaphorical and repetitive language.
One of the earliest lines reads, “Each day/ each Nazi/ took, at 8:00 AM, a baby/ and sautéed him for breakfast/ in his frying pan.” (Lines 4-8) One of the easiest things to note is the use of past tense verbiage such as “took” and “sautéed” which indicates the events in the poem occurred after the era of Jewish concentration and death camps as the title suggests. In regards to metaphors, something thing that seemed odd about this line was the reference to sautéing a baby in a frying pan. I interpreted this in relation to the thousands of Jews executed daily in the gas chambers established in the camps. By 1943, Auschwitz had eight gas chambers that, when in full operational use, disposed of over 4,000 corpses daily. One website that provided with the information on the gas chambers described them as ovens. Although not the same as a frying pan, in regards to “sautéing,” an oven is a device used to cook, though typically not when speaking about people.
One question I asked, however, was, “Why a baby?” Much like an infant, the Jews were often helpless in defending themselves against the misfortunes that befell them. An infant is a young person dependent upon another to care for them in every aspect of its life. The Jews succumbed to this juvenile state because their lives became dependent on the Nazis. I interpreted Sexton’s use of possibly using a baby as a way to describe the Jews because while they were in the camps, each area of their life was in control by another being: what they ate, what clothes they wore, and even whether they lived or died. Like the metaphorical baby in the frying pan, “each day” Jews burned in the “oven.”
Additionally, I inquired about the narrative tone. Evidence of the tone resonates in the very first line where the author uses the word “anger.” The theme of “anger” repeats itself in the lines that read, “Man is evil/ I say aloud. / Man is a flower/ that should be burnt…” (Lines 11-13) Because of the mention of Nazis in the beginning of the poem, I interpreted “man” as either being Nazis themselves, or possibly mankind as a whole since there is language in the poem specifying this. Words such as “evil” and “burnt” carry connotations that relate to “anger” because they reference that whatever the intended “man” is, because it is “evil,” it deserves to perish.
Another interesting aspect regarding the same lines is that there appears to be a contrast. A line further along the poem that resonates the same structure reads, “Man….is not a temple but an outhouse, I say aloud.” (Lines 21-25) A “flower,” “bird,” and “temple” are all things typically regarded as beautiful, majestic, or sacred. However, each is in conjunction with...

Find Another Essay On "After Auschwitz" Analysis

Eliezer Wiesel's Relationships Essay

1916 words - 8 pages camps, he tested his belief in God. In the novel Night, “Wiesel's childhood faith in the goodness and promise of God was forever shattered when as a young boy he was deported along with his family from their native Transylvania to Auschwitz. Arriving at Auschwitz Wiesel learned what Dostoevsky in his own time knew, that the sin against the child is the only unforgivable sin, for it indicts not only man but man's creator. Echoing Dostoevsky, he

Viktor Frankl and the Development of Logotherapy

2265 words - 9 pages wife was sent to the Bergen Belson camp, where she would die shortly after. His brother, Walter, died in a mine in a different branch of the camp (Redsand, 2006). Frankl spent three days in Auschwitz, then was transported to Kaufering and Tu”rkheim, located in Germany for seven months (Pytell, 2003). In Kaurfering he spent his time digging ditches in the freezing winters. He volunteered at a typhus ward, most of the prisoners were sick. In the

Dawn by Elie Wiesel

702 words - 3 pages Auschwitz. The father, mother, and sister of Wiesel died in the concentration camps. His older sister and himself were the only to survive in his family. After surviving the concentration camps, Wiesel moved to Paris, where he studied literature at the Sorbonne from 1948-1951. Since 1949 he has worked as a foreign correspondant and journalist at various times for the French, Jewish, periodical, L’Arche, Tel-Aviv newspaper Yediot Ahronot, and the

A description of the movie "Schindler's List" as well as character analysis and theme of the movie.

1436 words - 6 pages work camps) in Plaszow, while deportation and shooting is going on in the Krakow ghettos. In February 1943 Amon Goeth takes command of the work camps in Plaszow. Then on March 13 - 14 in 1943 the ghettos were liquidated and Jews taken to either work camps or to Auschwitz (a death camp). Schindler wants to expand his factory to Plaszow and succeeds in March of 1943. Schindler goes out to try and recruit workers for his company. Then

What Makes a Hero

2700 words - 11 pages the viewer an excellent idea of what Schindler was like. What Schindler did by saving so many people has had consequences that far surpass the immediate impact. Doing an analysis if the true life of Oskar Schindler, a point-by-point comparison of the movie against what really happened, and the effects of Schindler's actions on society then and now, allows people to understand the lasting impact a person's actions can have on not only individual

The Holocaust

1107 words - 4 pages a strong factor in his decisions. Albert Speer says, “The hatred of the Jews was Hitler's driving force and central point, perhaps even the only element that moved him. The German people, German greatness, the Reich, all that meant nothing to him in the final analysis. Thus, the closing sentence of his Testament sought to commit us Germans to a merciless hatred of the Jews after the apocalyptic downfall. I was present in the Reichstag session of

U.S. Foreign Policy and Jewish Inmigration

4278 words - 17 pages Interesting analysis Well Done!PART I HISTORICAL REVIEW AND ANALYSISIn reviewing the events which gave rise to the U.S.'s foreign policy towardJewish refugees, we must identify the relevant factors upon which such decisionswere made. Factors including the U.S. government's policy mechanisms, it'sbureaucracy and public opinion, coupled with the narrow domestic politicalmindedness of President Roosevelt, lead us to ask; Why was the

Throughout World War II many conditions have led ordinary men to commit atrocities against civilians in wartime.

2300 words - 9 pages without choice. Desensitization helps in forgetting the moral aspect of the actions being carried out. Throughout World War II many conditions led ordinary men to commit atrocities against civilians. From the analysis of Inga Clendinnen's "The Men in the Green Tunics: The Order Police In Poland", Primo Levi's "Survival in Auschwitz" and Browning's "Ordinary Men", it is clear that orders from higher ranked officers, alcohol and gradual desensitization

Review of The Diary of Anne Frank

1472 words - 6 pages 1.. Introduction The Diary of Anne Frank might be the most famous personal account of the Holocaust. This was written in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, between 1942 and 1944. Anne was born in 1929. Anne’s father, Otto, had come from a wealthy background, but his family’s fortune was lost after World War I. The Franks, a Jewish family, moved to the Netherlands in 1933 in order to escape Nazi persecution. Anne received a diary on her thirteenth

Analysis of Hannah and Her Sisters

2026 words - 8 pages Analysis of Hannah and Her Sisters ‘Hannah and her Sisters’ is an American film set in the 1980’s directed by Woody Allen. Woody Allen was influenced by a Russian dramatist called Chekhov who wrote a play called ‘Three sisters’. Woody Allen based the film on the play, in which the sisters are close but there is still tension between them at the same time. ‘Hannah and her Sisters’ is a funny, swift, difficult yet

Analysis of Brazil, Directed by Terry Gilliam

1674 words - 7 pages Analysis of Brazil, Directed by Terry Gilliam As a child develops into an adult there are critical developmental steps that are necessary for a complete and successful transition. The physical transition is the most obvious change, but underneath the thick skin and amongst the complex systems, exists another layer of transitions. Ideas, rationales, ideologies and beliefs all dwell within this layer of each being. It could be said that a

Similar Essays

Genocide Of The Holocaust Essay

3999 words - 16 pages as a necessary evil. The victims have been reduced to a subhuman level, and therefor do not need to be treated ethically. The experiments are justified in the name of science and the purification of the Aryan race. Other tests by Mengele included the more standard collection of blood, urine, stool, and saliva. Archives of the Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum contain numerous requests for analysis bearing Mengele's

Anne Sexton And Sylvia Plath: Minds Of Distortion And Darkness

1570 words - 6 pages poem "After Auschwitz". From the conclusion I have drawn is that Anne Sexton shared the same strange obsession, and Plath may have instilled this idea on her, due to the fact that they were drawn together by death. Anne Sexton also uses this in two other poems "Daddy Warbucks" and "Godfather Death".Another strange finding that I have taken notice to, are the style and ways that Sylvia Plath and Anne Sexton committed suicide. Though they both killed

The Holocaust And Dehumanization In Primo Levi's Survival In Auschwitz

3239 words - 13 pages The Holocaust and Dehumanization as seen in Primo Levi's Survival in AuschwitzIn 1941, Adolf Hitler began his unethical devastation of European Jews. From Kaiserwald to Auschwitz, extermination camps were scattered across the continent. Within these camps along with general labor camps, Jews were treated in such horrid ways that even the thought causes one to shutter his or her eyes. After the Holocaust was over, survivors were the root of many

To What Extent Was Jewish Resistance Efforts Helped By The Allies Or Hindered By Allied Support?

1069 words - 4 pages Generation after generation, Jews and non-Jews alike confront the greatest crime ever perpetrated against humanity – The Holocaust. Individuals and nations try to comprehend how the larges and most vibrant Jewish settlement that thrived in Europe for a millennium was eradicated in a matter of years. Jewish resistance became fierce driven by the sheer will to survive from their oppressors. Jewish resistance coordinated with the allied power