If This Is A Man



Dante, Homer and the Bible

Tone, Mood and Style

Presentation: Depiction

Just a little history

Choose one of the following tasks to refresh your memory regarding the context of the holocaust.

  1. Design a virtual tour of the key events of World War 2. You might like to give your tour a specific theme (the Holocaust would be nice…) Use Google Earth or something similar. Choose a few key locations and explain the significance. Use images and text to support your ideas.
  2. Numbers can help us understand the impact of the Holocaust. Create numerical and graphical representations of the Holocaust. Try searching for Holocaust Statistics.
  3. Art can help us to understand the humanity of the Holocaust. Collect and present a variety of artistic representations of the Holocaust. Try searching for Holocaust Art. Have a look at this interesting source.And here.
  4. Humans learn and understand best through story. A wide range of non-fiction and fiction has been published on the Holocaust. Also, many people of shared their experiences (including Levi!) of this time. Collect and present poignant stories on this time.

Thinking About Genocide

genocide |ˈjenəˌsīd|
the deliberate killing of a large group of people, esp. those of a particular ethnic group or nation.

Such unimaginable moments have occurred, and are occurring, but do they lose their power when they become cinematic tropes, reducing horror to a plot point or a hero’s redemption?

Katrina Onstad writes about the arts for CBC.ca.

Review this article on genocide in film. Skim and read for poignant ideas.

You may also like to grab the Diigo weblet to view my highlighting.

Consider other depictions of genocide aswell as other controversial issues in film (or other texts). To what extent should they be depicted.

Over the course of the unit we will consider the question:

To what extent does the depiction of horrific events impact upon their power?

Begin with a poem?

  1. Read the poem at the beginning of the text at least 3 times, once aloud.
  2. Consider the structure of the poem? Why might this have been designed?
  3. The last section appears quite threatening. What might the intention be here?
  4. Levi makes some interesting gender distinctions in the poem. Explain.
  5. Liz Elsby created a painting based upon the the poem by Levi. Compare the 2 pieces by making connections between them.

The Authors Preface

Consider the following quotes from the preface:

  1. this book of mine adds nothing to what is already known to readers throughout the world on the disturbing question of the death camps
  2. to furnish documentation for a quiet study of certain aspects of the human mind.
  3. The story of the death camps should be understood by everyone as a insiter alarm-signal.
  4. But when this does come about, when the unspoken dogma becomes the major premiss in a syllogism, then,  at the end of the chain, there is the Lager.

Syllogism: noun

an instance of a form of reasoning in which a conclusion is drawn (whether validly or not) from two given or assumed propositions (premises), each of which shares a term with the conclusion, and shares a common or middle term not present in the conclusion (e.g., all dogs are animals; all animals have four legs; therefore all dogs have four legs).

Hot Potato.

Write a possible response to each of these quotes. Switch and write a new response that is different to the last.

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