This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

If This Is A Man By Primo Levi, Survival In Auschwitz

1306 words - 5 pages

Ever since the holocaust occurred, it is attested that morality is submissive in severe conditions. Morality stopped to be contained by the barbed wires of the concentration camps. Inside the camps, inmates were not dealt like human beings and thus abided by animal-like actions needed to subsist. In his autobiographical novel Se questo è un uomo (If This Is a Man or Survival in Auschwitz), the “ordinary moral world” (86), as Primo Levi calls it, stops to persist. The definition and usage of words such as “just,” “unjust,” “good,” and “evil” start out to merge and the disagreement between these opposites turn vague. Continued existence in Auschwitz demanded abolition of one’s dignity and self-respect. Vulnerability to unending dehumanization certainly directs one to be dehumanized, thrusting one to take refuge on mental, social, and physical adaptation to be able to preserve one’s existence and character. This adjustment causes the line, separating right from wrong, to deform.
Primo Levi, a survivor, gives account on his incarceration in the Monowitz- Buna concentration camp. Setting out with his capture in December of 1943 by the fascist militia, the text conforms to Primo Levi’s struggle in the succeeding twelve months as an inmate in the Monowitz- Buna concentration camp, seven kilometers at the east of Auschwitz. Upon arriving in the camp, Primo Levi (narrates in first-person) who has a doctor's degree in chemistry, embarks a domain that leaves him astonished; simply by building literary notes to Dante’s Inferno can he will be able to draw its contours. Following the degrading intake measures, he actualizes that the objective of the location to which they were brought is the physical and psychological devastation of the inmates. The inmate Levi, “Number 174517,” discovers further regarding the camp and the cruel circumstances there.
If This Is a Man, connotes that in Auschwitz, even one’s involvement in the human race may be questioned. Transformed into “one single grey machine”, Haftlinge are plucked of all conservative forms of identity; all clothes and personal items are impounded and even names are exchanged with six-digit numbers. The Haftlinge are further dehumanized when, as device in this machine, they are eroded against their fellow inmates in practically hopeless competition, becoming “enemies or rivals”, seemingly mere impediments to each other’s personal chances for survival. The dominating attitude in the camp is, “You will be chosen [for extermination]. I will be excluded.”
Primo Levi depicts circumstantially and attentively the daily procedures, grave labor, and maltreatment by prisoner officials and SS men, the innumerable molestations leading into every subject of life that opposes everything once anticipated. His accurate portrayal of individual occurrences and procedures let the reader gather the vainness and terror that distinguish the camp and the inmates’ communication with each other—and suggests how the Lager...

Find Another Essay On If This Is a Man by Primo Levi, Survival in Auschwitz

It was pure chance that enabled Primo Levi to survive Auschwitz. Evaluate. Levi, P "If This is a Man", Abacus, London, UK (2004)

972 words - 4 pages Although Primo Levi was the recipient of good fortune, he fundamentally survived Auschwitz because of resourceful improvisation and his ability to maintain a sense of humanity. Levi was not a particularly strong and capable prisoner and could easily have become a 'muselmann'. However, he was able to overcome his physical weaknesses by using his initiative to survive the brutality of the Lager. "To escape from Auschwitz was no small fortune" (p

Primo Levi's Survival in Auschwitz Essay

1638 words - 7 pages Primo Levi's Survival in Auschwitz Reading the novel Survival in Auschwitz by author Primo Levi leads one to wonder whether his survival is attributed to his indefinite will to survive or a very subservient streak of luck. Throughout the novel, he is time and again spared from the fate that supposedly lies ahead of all inhabitants of the death camp at Auschwitz. Whether it was falling ill at the most convenient times or coming in

Analytical essay on Primo Levi's "If This Is a Man"

988 words - 4 pages book, he proves to be right.Another fact worth mentioning about this chapter is that the title "The Drowned and the Saved" used to be also the title of the English translation of the novel, indicating hence the importance of the chapter.As a conclusion it can be said that the novel 'If This is a Man' by Primo Levi and especially the ninth chapter is a unique account of the horrifying actions carried out in German concentration camps as it tells the

The Holocaust and Dehumanization in Primo Levi's Survival in Auschwitz

3239 words - 13 pages Auschwitz. The psychological survival of man became the true standard of a man's strength.Humanity was forever changed by the Holocaust and Primo Levi's work is an essential part in supporting that change and shedding light onto it. Through Hitler's rule, ethics, morality, humanity, and sanity were all notions of curiosity. Levi takes readers through the life of Jew in an extermination camp in a way that addresses all of those notions, speaking to the

If This Is a Man

1016 words - 5 pages If This Is a Man by Primo Levi is a story about his personal experience of the journey through Auschwitz Concentration Camp. Right from the very first trip to the unknown destination, to the point of near death, Primo’s life was a constant battle between life and death. Throughout the book, Primo portrays his walk through living hell in a way that is both powerful and painful. The cover of the book displays a black and white picture of three

The ways in which the Häftlinge in Primo Levi's 'If This is a Man' and zeks in Alexander Solzhenitsyn's 'Ivan Denisovich' overcome the dehumanisation through the formation of friendships

1511 words - 6 pages Both 'One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich' by Alexander Solzhenitsyn and 'If This is a Man' by Primo Levi are books written about one of the most horrific features of the twentieth century - forced labour camps. Although the authors describe different types of camps with different regimes, their stories are very similar in one aspect. Both of them write about the degradation of the human soul as a result of the harsh conditions in the camp

Passage Analysis from "If This Is A Man"

1533 words - 6 pages This passage, which is taken from the closing pages of Primo Levi’s ‘If This Is A Man’, describes the final days in the concentration camp. To put it into context; the Germans, who were keen to save themselves, have abandoned Levi and the others, who are too ill to travel, to fend for themselves. Levi focuses on the irony of their situation; after suffering the horrors of the camp Levi and his fellow abandoned prisoners are finally free, but in

Survival In Auschwitz

540 words - 2 pages      “Imagine now a man who is deprived of everyone he loves, and at the same time of his house, his habits, his clothes, in short, of everything he possesses: he will be a hollow man, reduced to suffering and needs, forgetful of dignity and restraint, for he who loses all often easily loses himself.” This short quote is taken from Primo Levi’s “Survival in Auschwitz”. It depicts a true story of Primo Levi during the

Survival In Auschwitz

1688 words - 7 pages Levi, Primo. Survival in Auschwitz; The Nazi Assault on Humanity. 1st edition. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1996. I. Survival in Auschwitz is the unique autobiographical account of how a young man endured the atrocities of a Nazi death camp and lived to tell the tale. Primo Levi, a 24-year-old Jewish chemist from Turin Italy, was captured by the fascist militia in December 1943 and deported to Camp Buna-Monowitz in Auschwitz

Survival in Auschwitz

1438 words - 6 pages Auschwitz, in his memoir, “Survival in Auschwitz.” The way in which the author talks about the camp is as if it is its own society. There is a very different and very specific way of life at the camp; their basic needs are provided for them, but only in the simplest form in order to have a small chance of survival. There is no clean, drinkable water, so instead they drink coffee, they eat soup twice a day, and a small amount of bread (26). There

A Boy is A Man in Miniature. This is an analysis of the novel Fifth Business by Robertson Davies. Specifically about the concept of being twice born

1079 words - 4 pages "A boy is a man in miniature, although he may sometimes exhibit notable virtue… he is also schemer, self-seeker, traitor, Judas, crook, and villain - in short, a man." (Davies 9). The theme of being twice born is prevalent through the novel Fifth Business and is strongly demonstrated by the characters, Dunny, Percy and Paul. All three change their names, deny their past and become what their parents could never have imagined. Consequently

Similar Essays

Survival In Auschwitz By Primo Levi

1007 words - 4 pages Primo Levi, in his novel Survival in Auschwitz (2008), illustrates the atrocities inflicted upon the prisoners of the concentration camp by the Schutzstaffel, through dehumanization. Levi describes “the denial of humanness” constantly forced upon the prisoners through similes, metaphors, and imagery of animalistic and mechanistic dehumanization (“Dehumanization”). He makes his readers aware of the cruel reality in the concentration camp in

Survival In Auschwitz By Primo Levi

725 words - 3 pages In Primo Levi’s Survival In Auschwitz, an autobiographical account of the author’s holocaust experience, the concept of home takes on various forms and meanings. Levi writes about his experience as an Italian Jew in the holocaust. We learn about his journey to Auschwitz, his captivity and ultimate return home. This paper explores the idea of home throughout the work. As a concept, it symbolizes the past, future and a part of Levi’s identity

Survival In The Autobiography, Survival In Auschwitz By Primo Levi

872 words - 3 pages famous writing piece was actually the book, Survival in Auschwitz. Originally titled, If this Is a Man, Survival in Aushwitz was first officially published in 1947, two years after his release from Auschwitz. This novel is about the horrific events that took place towards Levi and other captive jewish members over a ten month period at Ka-Be in the Auschwitz concentration camp. Throughout the autobiography, Levi states graphic accounts on

To What Extent Will Man Go To Ensure His Survival? Explore With References To 'if This Is A Man' By Primo Levi

1368 words - 5 pages In 'If this is a man' by Primo Levi the male inmates vary greatly, yet each goes to great lengths trying to ensure his survival. Each has different ways in which he tries to survive, depending on the personality of the individual. In life there always comes a point in which the circumstances are so horrific that ones survival instincts take over and any act, no matter how horrific, is then considered normal as long as one survive and so morals