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If This Is A Man Analysis

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The autobiographical memoir If This is a Man by Primo Levi, a Jewish-Italian author, intensely uses poetic and literary devices to recount his time in the concentration camp, Auschwitz; referred as the Lager in the book. The unique use of kaleidoscopic stylistic features do not take away from the historical credibility of the author and his experiences; rather, it allows readers to engage more closely within these experiences. Levi’s use of flat statements, universal truths, tense switch, variation in register, and untranslated language throughout his memoir allow the horrors of the Holocaust to become universal, revealing the unimaginable conditions to the readers. Levi had an incredibly scientific mind as he was an industrial chemist. His scientific mindset can still be witnessed throughout the memoir, more specifically through his…show more content…
As such, he quite naturally is inclined to present the facts and leave the critical act of judgment to his readers. If This is a Man conveys Levi’s experience in a fashion that does not place readers in an audience position, but rather recreates it through the most constant stylistic feature, the use of flat statements. These are stated with no further comments and are left for the readers to interpret and is where Levi’s scientific background in chemistry shows the most through in his writing. Frequently done in a dispassionate recording or his look at cause and effect; such as in the phrase “the teachers of the little school gave lessons until the evening, as on other days. But that evening, the children were given no homework.” (15). It is stated with no outpouring of emotion or melodrama. The “but that evening, the children were given no homework” itself is extremely powerful as nothing else needs to be said and the events speak for themselves. This detached style actually dramatizes the experience as it forces the reader to reenact it. Another flat statement is “we who had entered the camp
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