Zöe Yu's Reviews > If This Is a Man / The Truce

If This Is a Man / The Truce by Primo Levi
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's review
Feb 19, 2012

it was amazing
bookshelves: holocaust-thema
Read in March, 2010

Levi’s memoir focused on more practical things. He thought about humanity and inhumanity in the holocaust. He portrayed distinguished people in death camp, some of them survived, some just waited for their dark fate. He dug humanity exposed in the cruel reality.

Specifically, in If this is a Man, Levi described his day dream when he was in Ka-Be. He paid attention to those little things when people could hardly be aware of their day dream as a dying labor. Also, Levi is very honest; I believe he could not remember everything and every sentence during the holocaust, so he analyzed the reason why he forgot something. Rousseau did very badly at this aspect. In his memoir Les Confession, he remembered every sentence when he was just five years old. It is not only impossible, but dishonest. Besides, Levi described his fantasies a lot which was both rarely and frequently seen in the death camp. As well as the shoes imagination, Levi’s describe almost covered all aspects of the holocaust life. Furthermore, Levi seemed provide us a lesson which teaching us how to survive. Emphasize on the selection which is a word he could not type after the holocaust, he told readers stronger and organized smart people always managed to survive. The author could image what those victims’ thoughts when they decided to give up. The contrast in this book is very obvious: the weaker and stronger, the older and newer, and the younger and older, and so on. According to give opinions on these different groups, the author told us that whether or not you were a survivor in the holocaust, humanity is the most important thing in people’s life. One could be a survivor but people still do not want to talk to you anymore, and not because of how smart you were. I wonder if it is a survive lesson, whether or not we should learn something from those stronger ones?

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