April 21st, 2011
AA World History
You Mean The Holocaust Was Bad?
It’s simple to say that the Holocaust was bad. I don’t think it was third grade and I already knew that. In A Good Day from Survival in Auschwitz, an autobiography by Primo Levi, and Night, an autobiography by Elie Wiesel, I learned the very different first-hand experiences of two young men who dealt with persecution from the Nazi Officers, during the time of the Holocaust. Now although these stories are very different, in truth, they both share similarities as well.
The first, and most noticeable, things are the differences. Right off the bat, we can tell that these stories are going to be very different by looking at the titles. We can infer that A Good Day is going to be more optimistic and cheerful than a story with a dark title such as Night. The obvious clichés aside, it can be seen that these presumptions are surprisingly accurate. In A Good Day Levi describes the pleasantries of the first day of spring. “…we all look at the sky in the east to spot the first signs of a milder season, and the rising of the sun is commented on every day; today a little earlier than yesterday, today a little warmer than yesterday, in two months, in a month, the cold will call a truce and we will have one enemy less.” Now, aside from the fact that that was an extremely long run-on sentence, it is clear that Levi is experiencing a vision of new hope and optimism. In the very intro of Night, Wiesel has already set the pessimistic mood. “We stayed at Gleiwitz for three days. Three days without food or drink. We were not allowed to leave the barracks. SS men guarded the door.” This alone is considerably more pessimistic, exhibited by the emphatic repetition on the fact that this young boy has been three days without sustenance. The differences between these stories are clearly shown through their mood. Now, of course, these differences between stories are warranted. These situations...