If This Is A Woman Analysis

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One might not think there would be many similarities to be found between an account of one man’s experience of a year in Auschwitz and of a woman growing up in late 19th century patriarchal Italy would hold many similarities. However, the autobiographies, If This Is A Man by Primo Levi and A Woman by Sibilla Aleramo, have more in common than not. While stylistically different the two authors pose the same question: what makes us human? Both novels recount traumatic experiences in which the authors lost so much that they began to lose themselves. But what helped each of them find themselves again and answers the question of humanity, is literature. Literature, knowledge, and culture all unite the world through common experience and this unity is what makes us human. The contrast between style and author’s purpose are key elements that make the …show more content…
There are two possible reasons that this device could have been used. The first is that Aleramo wishes to partially remove herself and perhaps not take ownership of the events. The second is because she wants this book to be less about her and more about telling the “everywoman” (de Santo 399) story of her time period. Writing her experience because she knows that so many women are going through the same injustices she is was important to her. On the last page she writes, “It is a book for my son” (Aleramo 219) it is so much more than that. Aleramo realizes that while many women are enduring the same struggles with abusive marriages, laws that favor men, and other misogynistic institutions that had been in place for centuries. So instead of making the story only about her she detached herself and added slight fictionalizations to make it more general and relatable to all women. Even the title, A Woman, supports this cause. The title isn’t ‘Story of Sibilla Aleramo’ or ‘My Life As A Woman’ it’s something more generic so it’s not all about

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