The Stages of Deception used as a way of Persuasion and the thought of Hope in This Way for the Gas, Ladies and Gentlemen
Throughout Borowski’s collection of short stories, “This Way for the Gas, Ladies and Gentlemen” various characters have been deceived into their own executions. The thought of being led to one’s own death without even knowing is what went through the minds of many Jews during the Holocaust. These victims had no control or say in their fates and faced the judgment without any sympathy or remorse from their executers. Although the victim’s futures were for the most part condemned, as they got closer and closer to death, few never lost hope that some miraculous intercession could drastically change their fate for the better. Their mindset is exemplified in “Auschwitz, Our Home (A Letter): “ We were never taught how to give up hope, and this is why today we perish in gas chambers” (Borowski 122). Through this, Borowski demonstrates the victim’s desperation to live even in the early stages of death through the gas chambers. Their individual stories and situations are expressed and explained through the eyes of narrator Tadek. The author uses narrative voice to set the tone of every individual life story and experience during the days of the Holocaust. One short story that exemplified the deception that went on in the concentration camps is “This Way for the Gas, Ladies and Gentlemen.” During the routine unloading process when victims are crucially commanded to take out their luggage, Tadek the main character and narrator views the arriving cattle trains and is approached by a victim who asks about his upcoming fate. The narrator, Polish himself, responds saying that he “doesn’t understand Polish.” He then adds, “It is the camp law: people going to their death must be deceived to the very end” (Borowski 37). Tadek obviously avoids the question because he does not want to tell the victims the truth. He feels forced to lie to them and deceive until...
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