Primo Levi Suvival in Auschwitz - Essay Example

Only on StudentShare

Extract of sample
Primo Levi Suvival in Auschwitz

Levi has moments of clarity that contribute to his ability to survive, neither optimism nor pessimism, both of which are deadly. He thinks, "clearly they will kill us, whoever thinks he is going to live is mad, it means that he has swallowed the bait, but I have not" (Levi 24). What saves him is the middle ground, his acceptance that while things could be better, things can always be worse. As he says in the beginning, "Sooner or later in life everyone discovers that perfects happiness is unrealizable, but there are few who pause to consider the antithesis: that perfect happiness is equally unattainable" (Levi 17). It is this perspective that keeps him from either sinking into despair, or losing himself in hope.
In the Lager, Levi learns to take the most pleasure in the least reminder of his humanity. Throughout the narrative, food figures prominently into the lives of the starving men. Although there is nothing but bread and soup, a little more bread and soup can be the difference between content and discontent. In "A Good Day" he recalls the wonderful surprise of extra soup and asks, "What more could one want Even our work seems light with the prospect of four hot, dense pints waiting for us in the hut" (Levi 76). By adjusting his expectations, Levi adjusts his will to live. And even more soothing is the prospect of sleep. ...
Download paper


Primo Levi expects to die at any given moment upon his capture, and yet he takes what steps he can to ensure his survival and to take pleasure where it can be found. All around him, others with greater determination to live are doing likewise, and sometimes stooping to means that may seem despicable…
Author : carolanne33

Related Essays

Paul Steinbergs Speak You Also against Primo Levis rendition of Henri in Survival in Auschwitz
Such connotations make 'Holocaust' a problematic term for the devastation it names. The word's religious implications seem inappropriate, even repulsive, to many people, including many Jews. It is quite surprising that Holocaust still remains the most widely used term for the horrendous crimes committed on a race in an attempt to uproot it from the face of the earth.
8 pages (2008 words) Essay
The Holocaust through Speak You Also
It is a startling tale of one boy's survival in Auschwitz, the most notorious death camp the Nazi's created. Steinberg shares his story in just such a way that you can truly feel his desperate need for survival.
3 pages (753 words) Essay
The French Revolution and Nationalism
A force that is capable of rendering a national character to any uprising or event, nationalism is a phenomenon that permeates into the very core of a citizen’s life. It does so by giving the people of a country a common platform where they can meet, interact and bond. Subsequently, this leads to a rise in the national character as these people begin to identify with each other on the basis of a language, color, race or even suffering.
9 pages (2259 words) Essay
HISTORY Bachelor Essay
As far as Goldhagen's infamous chapter eight, "Police Battalion 101: Assessing the men's motives," the main point of argument with this chapter has to do with the accusation that many ordinary Germans had motivation to participate in the Holocaust, and had several motives for doing so. Many people have felt that the book's lacking cannot defend the attacks against it or, on the other hand, that the book's accomplishments do not explain its successful sales. However, this consideration of the book is shortsighted; focusing on Goldhagen tacks attention away from his important claims, and to...
8 pages (2008 words) Essay
The Breaking Point: Intimate Relations with an Unresponsive God
For observant European Jews, "the relationship to God was social, intimate, critical" (Howe & Greenberg 9). In other words, religious Jews spoke to God on a personal, one-on-one level, praising and worshipping, but also questioning and complaining. In "Yom Kippur: The Day Without Forgiveness," by Elie Wiesel, this personal relationship with their god, absent in some religions, allows religious Jews to maintain their belief even when there is no evidence that their god is watching.
5 pages (1255 words) Essay
Why wasn't Auschwitz bombed? Should the Allies have bombed Auschwitz-Birkenau in 1944/45?
This was the summary of the Auschwitz escapees report by Gerhart Riegner, to World Jewish Congress, Geneva, which was originally sent under cover of R.E. Shoenfeld, U.S. chargé to Czech government in London, to Cordell Hull, Secretary of State in July 5, 1944. In this report, there was a clear description of how Jews were being killed in thousands of numbers everyday in these camps and there were also suggestions to the allied forces that these camps be bombed. The report had also reminded the allied forces that it was easy to spot the crematoria in both the camps from air and they were thus...
1 pages (251 words) Essay
Got a tricky question? Receive an answer from students like you! Try us!