The Drowned and the Saved Book Summary and Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of The Drowned and the Saved

In his final book, published in 1986 a year before his suicide, the Italian chemist Primo Levi sums up issues and lessons of the Holocaust, based on his own experiences and extensive readings of the literature. His themes involve memory, how people lie to themselves and others, what enables some to survive and others not. He studies the psychology of victims and oppressors, particularly how they resemble and collaborate with one another as well as how they differ. He tackles the classic questions "why didn't you escape/rebel/leave beforehand?" The final chapter relates the letters he received from Germans after the publication of his personal Holocaust memoir, _Survival at Auschwitz_.
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The review of this Book prepared by David Loftus

Chapter Analysis of The Drowned and the Saved

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Kind Of History

Time of history:    -   1940's History of disaster/tragedy?    -   Yes Kind of disaster:    -   Holocaust Nationality?    -   EUROPE

Subjects of this Historical Account

Religion? (if plays a major part)    -   Jews! Ethnicity (if plays a major part)    -   European/White


Europe    -   Yes European country:    -   Italy    -   Germany If applicable, liberal/conservative?    -   Historian is moderately liberal

Writing Style

How much gore?    -   7 () How fast-paced is the book?    -   2 () Accounts of torture and death?    -   very explicit references to deaths and torture Book makes you feel...    -   challenged How much focus on stories of individuals?    -   Focuses on brief history of a lot of players How much romance?    -   1 () Minor characters feature lots of:    -   physically sick people Pictures/Illustrations?    -   None Length of book    -   150-200 pages How much emphasis on small details?    -   4 ()

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Primo Levi Books Note: the views expressed here are only those of the reviewer(s).
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