Analysis Of Primo ' By Primo Levi Essay example

2203 Words May 9th, 2016 null Page
From a biological point of view, humans are not plants, fungi, protists, or monera; humans are animals. Believing ourselves to be the pinnacle of creation, the smartest and most capable of all that populate this planet, we face a conundrum that we fall in the same classification with earthworms, flounder, bulldogs, and orangutans. Clifford Geertz, an anthropologist, explained this by asserting “Man is an animal suspended in webs of significance he himself has spun” (Clifford 5). Those “webs of significance” are culture. So when we strike down the sticky mess of threads that includes our languages, religions, social structures, and arts, among others, we also strike down the man within. Primo Levi tells the story of a man whose culture was forcibly taken from him. His narrative, If This is a Man, recounts his experiences as a prisoner in a Nazi concentration camp. There, the Nazis took from him his basic necessities, his ability to communicate, his sense of purpose in his life, and his honor. The dehumanization Levi describes begins even before his journey to Auschwitz. Starting with racial segregation and discrimination laws, certain people are separated from the privileges of culture and civilization. Once the journey begins, however, Levi describes in more vivid detail the exact atrocities the Jews faced. After four days cramped on a train without water, they climb out with a “terrible thirst” (Levi 28). They are led into a cold room where they are…

Related Documents