Borowski "This Way to the Gas Ladies and Gentlemen"

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Borowski’s short story details one man’s experience as a privileged prisoner in a concentration camp. The narration is harrowing and frantic, providing a realistic account of day-to-day life within the camps. At times, Tadeusz’s words seem like the confused ranting of a personal journal entry, and the reader is perhaps left wondering what is actually going on. This seems to only happen for a moment, though, and quickly the narration is brought back to a clear point. On the surface, Borowski’s story brings the audience into the gruesome world of the concentration camps. However, upon a second read certain more valuable themes jump out that make the story resonant so much more. Once we understand the simple plot, it becomes easier to detect the subtler, yet very poignant, details that perhaps went unnoticed previously. Suddenly Tadeusz’s narration comes alive in a different way. For one, it is very easy to mistake the author as the narrator; but, it is important to distinguish the two (something that becomes more clear upon the second read). There seems to be a certain duality in this tactic: on the one hand, one cannot help but assume that these acute details indeed happened to Borowski himself. Yet, by introducing a separate narrator that is not the author, the audience is left to question why. The answer to this question becomes more obvious when inspecting the narration and language of the text. The uncertainty that might have occurred during the initial read, where one finds himself confused by Tadeusz’s sparatic thoughts and actions, becomes clearer when we question why the narrator exhibits such a rollercoaster of emotion. The scattered thoughts mark a man who struggles to grasp and control his situation. There is the inherent need to survive: he knows he will not be killed, but finding the mental, physical and emotional capacity to continue on is exhausting. What I found most interesting about the story was coming to understand the way in which Tadeusz...
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