Emily Dickinson And Primo Levi's Survival In Auschwitz: Literary Analysis

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“The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe” claimed philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche, inducing powerful questions regarding the role of the individual in the society. The individual can be alleged to become a negligible stain when set in comparison of an entity with such greater dimensions, such as the society or the natural world. Similar questions have been directed at the reader of a variety of Emily Dickinson’s works, as well as Primo Levi’s Survival in Auschwitz: If This Is a Man. The latter, of Italian descent, tells a non-fictional account of the experiences of the individual in the Auschwitz extermination camp, which claimed the lives of many of the European Jewry. The dreads described in Levi’s prisoner novel stand against the experiences conveyed in the poems of the reclusive Dickinson of the United States, in which the topics of the individualism and identity are recurring. Both authors, nevertheless, in their attempt to apprehend the individual’s place in the larger world, and the nature of humanity, have challenged the relationship between the individual and the monstrous figures surrounding it, and, if farther abstracted, between the small and the enormous. Despite the complexity of individual’s relationship with the world surrounding, both Emily Dickinson and Primo Levi, in their respective works, examine the relative role of the individual in society and nature, in their struggle to comprehend the self’s place in the

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