Survival in Auschwitz - Zhang 1 Reflective Statement...

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Zhang 1Reflective StatementSurvival in AuschwitzIn our interactive orals on Survival in Auschwitzby Primo Levi, we discussed the culturaland contextual aspects of the memoir. During the discussions, politics and the Jewish identity in Europe during World War Two was covered, as well as how Levi incorporated the negative effects of discrimination against Jews in his memoir.Through the interactive orals, we discovered that Levi has been subjugated by discrimination through most of his life. His detainment in 1944 was a direct result of not only resisting fascism in Italy, but of his Jewish identity as well. In his memoir, Levi is able to effectively convey his personal opinions and perspectives on his imprisonment in Auschwitz. Levi portrays the Jews as a dehumanized collective to highlight the abuse suffered by the Jews inAuschwitz, as can be seen in the phrase “Haftling. I have learnt I am Haftling. My number is 174517; we have been baptized…” (Levi 27). In this quotation, we see Levi has reduced himself as a “haftling”, meaning prisoner. The significance of the number further demonstrates how individuality is taken away in Auschwitz, as numbers is often a way to identify objects, and not humans. Ironically, Levi states the Jews have been “baptized”, conveying the idea that entrance in Auschwitz reassigns the Jews a whole new identity; one without individuality or liberty.Furthermore, we see Levi conveying the hardships suffered by the Jews by objectifying them. In the phrase, “opaque intimate solitude” (89), Levi uses “opaque” to describe the Jews, while it is most often used to describe transparency of inanimate objects, thus effectively objectifying the Jewish prisoners and further highlighting their loss of identity.The interactive orals helped me further comprehend the atrocities the Jews have faced during World War Two. In these discussions, I was able to fully understand the negative effects the Holocaust has had on the Jewish identity, as Levi effectively conveys his personal recounts of
Zhang 2the abuse he suffered through constant dehumanization of the Jewish identity.Word count: 330Tingzhi ZhangMs. Stos
Zhang 3ENG3UB-0220 December 2018Word count: 1499Turnitin #: 1059930522Survival of Humanity in Primo Levi’s Survival in AuschwitzThe concentration camps established by Nazi Germany suppressed and marginalized Jews of their humanity within its confines. However, in Primo Levi’s memoir Survival in Auschwitz, the author contends the Nazi’s efforts to subdue the Jews by highlighting various methods of survival the prisoners implemented in order to endure the torture of the concentrationcamps. In Survival in Auschwitz, Levi uses various literary devices to effectively establish the theme of an individual’s perseverance to conserve humanity in defiance of dehumanizing oppression. This is conveyed through the use of the metaphor of the Lager and spiders, the irony of mothers preparing for deportation and the act of washing, and the motif of storytelling.

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