Primo and Elie

Topics: Elie Wiesel, The Holocaust, Auschwitz concentration camp Pages: 2 (870 words) Published: November 11, 2008
Primo Levi and Elie Wiesel: Similarities and Differences in Telling About the Holocaust The Holocaust was a horrific time in history; and those who survived it, will never forget it. Elie Wiesel and Primo Levi are two survivors of the Holocaust and both have made the decision to educate and write about the Holocaust. Wiesel and Levi are two different people, with different lives before the war. But, while in concentration camps they shared similar horrors. Levi and Wiesel transcribed the horror of the Holocaust into literary form with style and emotion that differed between the authors, resulting in the novel Night and Survival in Auschwitz. Wiesel begins his memoir as a boy, telling about his life before concentration camps. He tells of the escalation of events eventually leading to the loss of all rights and pride among Jews. "Moshe returns to Sighet with an almost unbelievable story: all the Jews with whom he was deported have been massacred. The villagers react with disbelief; they disregard him as a madman." (Napierkowski, 243). Wiesel depicts the denial among his neighbors; How could something so horrible actually happen in such a day and age? First, their possessions were taken. Next, their homes were taken and everyone was put into congested ghettos. Eventually, all Jews were shipped off to camps where reality hit. On the other hand, Levi jumps right into his account from the arrival at the camp. The reader doesn't have the same chance to cope with the loss of a normal life as in Night, and feel remorse for the narrator. "It has been suggested that Levi's love of science and his training as a chemist explain his disposition to observe, describe, and analyze under the most appalling circumstances." (Brombert) Levi's account lacks the amount of emotion compared to Wiesel's. Levi does seem to analyze and report, rather than pull the reader into the reality of the horror as Wiesel does. Levi does not indulge in self-pity; instead he exercises curiosity and...
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