Incident at Vichy, by Arthur Miller, takes place in 1942 France. The play consists of dialogue between the characters, eight men and a boy, while they await an unknown fate in the detention room of a Vichy police station. Not only does the play tell of the horrors of the Holocaust through rumors that the men exchange, but it also deals with major themes of guilt, self-sacrifice, and honor. Through characters with different beliefs, attitudes, and ways of life, the play draws significant conclusions on the topic of individualism.The need to protect oneself is a very strong, reoccurring theme, and the characters all have different coping mechanisms. Many of the characters seem very self-centered, save for the boy none of them mention family or friends. Marchand thinks of himself as an important businessman, having no time for any of the other men, and perhaps it is his confidence that convinces the Germans that he is not inferior to them. Lebeau, who lived isolated in the country, is very fearful for his life, and that fear is channeled into both aggression and denial as he tries to rationalize his situation by putting down the others (for example, by comparing his nose to the gentile, Prince Von Berg). The waiter attempts resistance as he is brought into the back room but is quickly subdued. Monceau, who believes he can use his talent of acting to put on a show of confidence, is in denial of what awaits him and thus protecting himself. Bayard seems to live in the future, when workers are in control, and views himself as a part of history more than as an individual; he has separated his spirit from his body. Leduc is the most realistic; he sees the danger he is in and attempts physical resistance as he is brought into the detention center. After he fails, he then tries to organize a group to fight the guards, but nobody is able enough or willing to take the risk. Finally he attempts to convince the major to be an honorable man and turn against the Nazis, but the major is not willing to sacrifice himself for another man. It is obvious that both the active and passive attempts at self-protection were not enough; the men did not realize it, however it was necessary for them to stop thinking of only themselves and join together to overcome their opposing forces. Or it was necessary for someone else to make a sacrifice in order to help them.The question of honor plagued the Major. He knew that he was involved in something horrible and felt guilty for it. Leduc saw his weakness and tried to persuade him to kill as many guards as possible and sacrifice himself so that he could escape. Leduc said he would remember him with love and as an honorable German, but the major said he doesn't care if Leduc loves him, he believes that individuals don't matter anymore. He does not understand why Leduc has more of a right to live than he.In the end it is the great Prince Von Berg, a man of nobility, who sacrifices his pass out of the detainment room to Leduc, a Jew. Von Berg acts in a very selfless way, the first selfless act in the play, as he places someone else's life before his. Leduc had made him feel guilty and think by saying "each man has his Jew; it is the other. And the Jews have their Jews. And now, now above all, you must see that you have yours--the man whose death leaves you relieved that you are not him, despite your decency. And that is why there is nothing and will be nothing--until you face your own complicity with this...your own humanity." By giving his life to Leduc, Von Berg actually saved himself because this feeling of guilt would have plagued him forever; the feeling that there was something more he could've done but didn't.In conclusion, although it seems as though an individual cannot make a difference and does not matter, they can make a great difference for another person. It is necessary for people to make sacrifices in order to win. Honor is something that can be lost easily and replaced with guilt, which in Von Berg's case would be worse than dying. Incident at Vichy was about much more than the Holocaust, it was about life changing decisions and sacrifices.