Literary Precedents for The Accident

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Several memoirs of Holocaust survivors serve as literary precedents, for they demonstrate, as Wiesel does, the impossibility of returning to normal life after the Holocaust. Two influential memoirs with which Wiesel would no doubt be familiar are Primo Levi's Survival in Auschwitz (1958) and Tadeusz Borowski's This Way for the Gas, Ladies and Gentlemen (1948).

These two works manifest how a Holocaust survivor, such as Eliezer (the narrator), can be affected forever by the atrocities. Levi, an Italian chemist, and Borowski, a Polish underground writer, describe how life in Auschwitz ruined their lives forever, how they could never recover. In fact, Levi committed suicide in 1987 and Borowski took his own life by opening a gas valve in 1951. Their autobiographies are similar to Wiesel's characterization of Eliezer, and they took their own lives, as Eliezer attempts to do in The Accident.

Another literary precedent is William Shakespeare's Hamlet (1600-1601). Eliezer and...

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This section contains 313 words
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