• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

To destroy a man is difficult, almost as difficult as to create one: pg 156 ch. 16(The last one). Evaluate this quote in terms of language of the text and importance to the novel If this is a man by Primo Levi.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

'to destroy a man is difficult, almost as difficult as to create one:' pg 156 ch. 16(The last one). Evaluate this quote in terms of language of the text and importance to the novel 'If this is a man' by Primo Levi. Primo levi's book "If this is a Man" is a novel based on the topic of the Nazi Germany concentration camps. While there are many novels about this period in history "If this is a Man" is set aside from the rest of these books by the way in which Primo Levi retells the events. His chosen style of language is scientific likely due to his background as a Chemist and the significance of this style of writing is evident in the text. It also allows for the break down (to a certain extent) of the vocabulary used to highlight the above quote contrasting language. This quote holds meaning to the text as a whole, it exudes many topics, the ones that will be explored are; how those who survive survived, the conflicting meaning of the quote and the concept of barriers set. ...read more.

Middle

This amazing contextual description completely baffles readers by the exact and contradiction meaning of it. "To destroy a man is difficult, almost as difficult as to create one: it has not been easy, nor quick, but you Germans have succeeded. Here we are, docile under your gaze; from our side you have nothing more to fear; no acts of violence, no words of defiance, not even a look of judgement." Pg 156. This paragraph holds contradicting meaning to Levi. The first response we have as readers is to note the tone; it sounds not Levi like, we note that in the whole novel this is the closest that Primo comes to giving out a judgement. Levi says 'you Germans', always he refrains from using this ad he notes not all Germans were part of the Nazi regime, he usually uses words such as 'the Lager', them, and they to define who he is referring to . The first part of the quote "To destroy a man is difficult..." this when read with the later part "It has not been easy, nor quick,..." brings about the concept that you have succeeded, you have managed, through your actions, to destroy a man or many a man ...read more.

Conclusion

Here is a turning point in Levi's assessment of how to survive the Lager, he notes that what they Lager are doing (destroying what it is to be a man) but also notes to himself that he knows what it is to be a man and therefore can make the statement it is more difficult to create one. Even if this recognition is not a conscious one it is sub-conscious and allows for him to assess how to live. This assessment brings about the conclusion that to survive the trial of being destroyed as a man one must suppress what it is to be a man. Levi does this as well as the other survivors. They suppress their human so as to avoid destruction, so as to avoid being classified as one of the 'drowned' (the broken men). Therefore from Levi's recognition of both difficulty to create men and supress your 'human' he manages to set a barrier between himself and 'the Lager', this is as low as I will sink, I will not be destroyed then be recreated, I have and will take the nessacary sacrifice to supress my human and survive, 'the Lager will not succeed. This powerful realisation is never expressed in Primo's own words but is contained in his scientific, horribly confronting sharp contrasts. ?? ?? ?? ?? ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our International Baccalaureate World Literature section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related International Baccalaureate World Literature essays

  1. To What Extent Do The Writers From The Books 'The Last Night' and 'Refugee ...

    Unlike "The Last Night" the piece is not in chronological order. This creates confusion to the reader and is supposed to represent the confusion of the Jews. The Jews are confused because they are unaware of why they are being treated so poorly.

  2. Wonderful Fool (Susaku Endo) Quote Analysis in Terms of Aspects of Tokyo and Japan

    Gaston, like Jesus, has good will, innocence and trust to everyone around him; something that Tohoku does clearly lack. He may be compared to a source of light of redemption pervading through the empty, godforsaken streets. The quote also discusses Quote Analysis "From about eight o'clock at night there were

  1. Of Mice and men This book tells the story of what happens to ...

    That ain't no good. They don't have fun. After a long time they get mean. They get wanting to fight all the time."(p.41). Here, without really knowing it, George has underlined the main consequence of life in the bunkhouse but also the importance of communicating with another to stay who you are and not become aggressive nor brutal.

  2. For this task, my main objective was to look at the world through the ...

    She is presented to us when Holden remembers their summers at Maine, and although he tries to call her a number of times they are never able to talk. This conversation could be placed in chapter 11, when Holden goes down to the lobby and starts thinking about Jane.

  1. Analysis of "The verger" by William Somerset Maugham. (Text of story in Vietnamese).

    Tôi cÅ©ng không muá»n ngợi ca mình; tá»± khen là Äiá»u không nên. NhÆ°ng tôi không ngại nói rằng tôi Äã hoàn thành nhiá»m vụ của mình trong trạng thái mà ý Chúa Äã Äặt tôi trong Äó; cho dù bây giá» tôi có khả nÄng há»c Äược Äi chÄng

  2. Social Distinction in the novel Pygmalion

    in a flower-shop where better English is needed ?Eliza: But they won?t take me unless I can talk more genteel?. Man?s economic life also depends on good language skills. Without good speaking power it is much difficult to get a handsome job.

  1. How and to what effect does the use of language empower Higgins and ...

    training in the phonetics of the English language"[7] In contrast to Higgins? power, Dukore indicates that "a member of a particular social class is revealed not only by his speech and behavior, he is revealed also by the way in which he is treated"[8] Higgins treats Eliza just as rudely

  2. How does Browning bring vividly to life the men and their relationships in Porphyrias ...

    The entire poem is the Duke discussing the painting of his last Duchess that has recently passed away and arranging a marriage with a different girl from a rich family. There is certain frigid decorum in the Duke?s speech that is established by the imperceptible, but unfailing, rhyming couplets.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work