Comparison Of "The Hearing Trumpet" Leonora Carrington And "If This Is A Man" Primo Levi

1542 words - 7 pages

The Behavioural differences of both main characters in a forced institution.Primo Levi and Marian Leatherby both find themselves in a forced institution and they both have many obstacles they must face and as different that these institutions are, fundamentally both Marian and Primo Levi did not make a willing choice to be there.The obvious differences in the institutions both find themselves most likely changes they’re initial reaction rather heavily. When Marian first find’s out that she is to be sent to an “institution” she is angry and is hurt by the comments that are made about her (“Grandmother can hardly be classified as a Human being” – P.10). Yet ...view middle of the document...

He quickly becomes more held back like the other detainees and goes about acquiring knowledge from those that are willing to tell and goes about trying to find the necessities of the camp. Like a knife or spoon. Yet this is short-lived after only a day or two he resigns into himself using every moment to rest. No longer wanting to ask questions because he knows what he needs to know. Everything above that is wasted effort. This seems to be one of his “low points” where nothing seems to be worth the effort. After this chapter Primo Levi get’s admitted to Ka-Be this seems to be the first time he even dares to reflect on what he, “they” have all become. During his time in Ka-Be he restarts questioning the other inmates about the lager including the selections. At first he does not want to believe what he is hearing and brings up counter arguments as to where people have “disappeared" too yet this ignorance is short lived as he watches the selections inside of Ka-Be this seems to answer all the questions he had and he also begins to fully understand that even if he does have questions, he will normally find backs turned on him. No one wants to answer his – to them, painful questions.Leonora Carrington’s character however deals with her situation in an inherently different manner.Instead of going into a state of nothingness like Primo Levi Marian decides to try and make sense of what is going on and she befriends herself with some of the other people who are also staying at the institution. Strange things seem to go on and one could almost say that Marian turns into a bit of a detective trying to get to the bottom of a weird and wonderful murder story yet in this case there is not murder – yet and she is trying to get to the bottom of more light-hearted things like who the winking Nun is. When she then finally gets her hands on some of the “stories” / “notes” on the Abbess she seems completely immersed in the Abbess’s life until she finishes reading. I believe this shows how easily Marian can be distracted. Although it must be said on the next day, the day when Maude is found dead she is again completely focused and easily recalls what she saw in the kitchen. This shows us that Marian is still trying to find out all she can about the institution and its sinister workings.Primo Levi was almost fully accustomed to life in the lager and had become “hard as rock” like the others around him. Knowing this was the only way of survival his behaviour seems to have progressed a lot since the beginning of his ordeal. When he enters the 98th commando (the chemical commando) he seems to find some hope in teaching his comrade some of Dante’s literature although it initially makes him happy his mood quicklychanges when he finds that he is no1/2longer capable of reciting the full extract. What makes him want to recite this extract of Dante we are not fully told yet this could...

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