"The Drowned and the Saved": Analysis of the "Gray Zone" Book Review

"The Drowned and the Saved": Analysis of the "Gray Zone"
An analysis of Primo Levi's book "The Drowned and the Saved", focusing on what he called the "Gray Zone," the morally inverted world that dominated prisoners in the concentration camps.
# 147498 | 1,851 words | 1 source | MLA | 2011 | US
Published on Apr 28, 2011 in Literature (General) , Holocaust Studies (General)

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This paper examines how in Primo Levi's last book, "The Drowned and the Saved", he seeks to find meaning and understanding in his experience in the Nazi concentration camp in Auschwitz. It looks at how he introduces the "Gray Zone" where internal collaboration between inmates and Nazis becomes the only way of survival. This paper critically analyzes the "Gray Zone" and the Nazis as "enemies of memory" who strategically aimed at destroying the souls of dissidents.

From the Paper:

"The second and longest essay focuses on the "Gray Zone," where the relationship between victim and oppressor is blurred and deemed incomparable to any other traumatic experience. Levi is captivated by the feelings of guilt and shame experienced by survivors and disapproves popular romantic notions of liberation that were not experienced by survivors. Furthermore, logical explanations for feelings of guilt and shame are unfounded and as Levi points out, this burden illustrates the morbid oppression implemented by the Nazis, which led to many suicides, a thought that was completely absent and incomprehensible while in the Lager. Levi's own internal conflict is revealed in the third chapter: "I felt innocent, yes, but enrolled among the saved and therefore in permanent search of a justification in my own eyes and those of others. The worst survived, that is, the fittest; the best all died" (82). Although survival depended mostly on sheer luck and coincidence, some prisoners created their own good fortune in collaborating with the Nazis. "

Sample of Sources Used:

  • Levi, Primo. The drowned and the saved. New York: Vintage International, 1989. Print.

Cite this Book Review:

APA Format

"The Drowned and the Saved": Analysis of the "Gray Zone" (2011, April 28) Retrieved July 08, 2020, from https://www.academon.com/book-review/the-drowned-and-the-saved-analysis-of-the-gray-zone-147498/

MLA Format

""The Drowned and the Saved": Analysis of the "Gray Zone"" 28 April 2011. Web. 08 July. 2020. <https://www.academon.com/book-review/the-drowned-and-the-saved-analysis-of-the-gray-zone-147498/>