Tag Archives: Jenna E

Albert Camus – Short Biography

20 Apr

Camus was born on 1913 in a place called Mondavi, which is located in Algeria. He grew up amongst poverty with only his mother and grandmother as guidance because his father died during World War I. Before he fell seriously ill when he was only 17 he had received a scholarship for secondary school and once he was going to graduate from there he planned to enter university. He fell ill with tuberculosis and it was then that he “had an understanding of human vulnerability to disease and death.” All within a few years he co-founded a theatre group, became part of the intellectual community in Algeria, joined a communist part and was in Paris as an active member of the French resistance. After World War 2 he worked in Paris as a reader at a publishing company as well as releasing some of his novels when his reputation of being a writer was very positive. In 1952 he got in a fight with one of his friends, they had a disagreement about the “legitimacy of communism in the face of the soviet purges and labor camps.” The fight blew up and there were attacks published in newspapers and Camus refused to support any political movement that was called for violence or the acts of restricting human freedom. This caused him even more grief and he also caused frustration for French government officials and Algerian nationalist leaders when he refused to make public endorsements of either side. In 1956 he won a Nobel Prize for his literature after he suffered writer’s block, depression and sickness. Camus died in France during 1960, in a car accident.

“Albert Camus.” EXPLORING Short Stories. Detroit: Gale, 2003. Gale Student Resources In Context. Web. 20 Apr. 2011.

Hawk Roosting

3 Feb

The poet uses constant references to life through the words: Creation x2, ‘tearing off heads’, death, kill, and bones. He could contrast them to make the reader think about how important the hawk is. It is implied that that the hawk is presented as a representative of all hawks – and so the thinks about how important the hawks are. The author closes by saying that nothing has changed, and that things are normal, so its like he is saying that the poem is describing a hawk during an ordinary day. The writer could want the reader to notice how powerful and important the hawk is.

The hawk’s power is shown through the imagery provided by the writter. The author mentions and describes the trees, the air, and the sun’s rays. Hughes is trying to paint a picture in the minds of the readers. The Hawk is presented as a higher power as it elegantly flies above the ground “inspecting” the Earth.

Intertextuality – Task 1

25 Nov

              The serpent that is mentioned in the Old Testament relates in a few ways to Henri on page 106 in the novel, “If This Is a Man.” In the Genesis the serpent was said to be craftier than any of the other wild animals that the LORD God had made and in page 106 it says Henri is inhumanly cunning. Cunning is another word used for crafty, meaning that both of the characters are sneaky, sly, secretive etc… in the testament the women says how God told hold her that cannot eat the fruit from the trees. The serpent then told her, “You will not certainly die, for God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will be will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” This shows the serpent going against the LORD God’s rules which shows a similarity between the serpent and Henri because in the concentration camp Henri is one of the only men who still have the hope that he will survive and that he will eventually escape. He is not supposed to have this hope, it is not right. As everyone else has lost it and everyone has given up, just waiting for their time to come when their life will come to an end. Henri also tries give the other people in the camp hope that they will not die but then he realizes he shouldn’t and that he should only focus on himself surviving because after all, it all comes down to the survival of the fittest.

Intertextuality in “If This is a Man”

25 Nov

In the novel If This is a Man by Primo Levi, the author mentions many different texts, which is called intertextuality, a text within a text. One of the texts mentioned was Divine Comedy which is a poem written by Dante Aligherri.  It was written between the dates of 1308 and 1321. It is known as one of the greatest works of world literature. The poem is about trip through the afterlife. The poem has three different parts: Inferno, Purgatorio and Paradiso.  The poem describes a journey of a man through Hell, Purgatory, and Heaven. It is an allegory of afterlife and describes “the soul’s journey towards God”. [wikipedia] The text is mentioned in Chapter 11, The Canto of Ulysees, where we are introduced to a new character, Pikolo, who wants to learn Italian. Primo Levi mentions the Canto of Ulysees, and recites some parts from 26th part to Jean, which is a part of Inferno. In Inferno, a journey to hell is described and the prisoners in If This is a Man are going through things that are similar to the journey to hell in Inferno, like for example, their identities are being taken away and they become nobody. The quote in the end of the chapter “And over our heads the hollow seas closed up” mentioned within the text If This is a Man means that they all have no future in the camp and even the little bit of hope they had for one was taken away.

Levi’s Realization of the Ka-Be

10 Nov

Primo Levi is given a spoon and knife by Schmulek, the man in the bunk next to him, as he leaves with a group of men who were not shaved or showered. This is because the SS guard, the night before, puts a cross next to his name while in the Ka-Be. Levi discovers that the weak ones are selected to die. Schmulek suffers from organic decay which itself is not something you turn to the Ka-Be for since it is incurable and reason to be killed because of the economic advantages of not feeding someone who cannot work. Levi realizes he is expendable and that the weak are eliminated to make more room for the strong. To the SS, Levi was nothing more than a slave to do their bidding. Once in the Ka-Be they became worthless so to return from it is a miracle.

Primo discovers that they all are to die. He expresses this belief by saying, “Will we perhaps be able to survive the illnesses and escape the selections, perhaps even resist the work and hunger which wear us out – but then, afterwards? Here, momentarily far away from the curses and the blows, we can re-enter into ourselves and meditate, and then it becomes clear that we will not return.” (61). He acknowledges that they are all living for nothing else, and will be killed anyways; there is no returning to freedom and the real world from them. Once they were sent to that camp their lives, as they know them, have ended.

“The life of Ka-Be is the life of limbo.”(56)

“Ka-Be is the Lager without its physical discomforts” (61)