The Drowned and the Saved Topics for Discussion

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How do stereotyping and stylization help victims and oppressors tell their stories? What are the psychological benefits to each? How does it limit the value of their stories as historical sources?

Primo Levi suspends judgment on the collaborators unless one has stood in their shoes. How would you on balance judge a Sonderkommando?

How would you judge Primo Levi's decision on sharing the water? What would be the arguments for and against the four options? How does this illustrate his concept of shifting moralities?

How do the Nazis use language as a weapon to humanize?

How would you rate the various forms of torment inflicted on prisoners in the Lager? What are the most premeditated? Which would you find the worst—and why?

What are the pros and cons of using the intellect in the Lager? How do intellect and religion intersect?

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This section contains 171 words
(approx. 1 page at 400 words per page)
Buy The Drowned and the Saved Study Guide
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