Human Continuum Essay

1668 WordsNov 9, 20087 Pages
Human Continuum Moving to a different country is the largest change someone can go through; it is very diminishing unless individuals take action and use their knowledge, abilities and strength to apply themselves and make the experience enlarging. The adjustments in language, surroundings, weather, food, clothing, etc. make this ordeal more difficult and impede the process of an individual’s rehumanization. In Primo Levi’s book, Survival in Auschwitz, the two ends of a continuum of diminishment and enlargement were portrayed; the bottom is described as a person being made into an inanimate object (a “musselman” or even dead) while the farthest to the top is a person acquiring connections and skills for survival and becoming “rehumanized”. The prisoners of Auschwitz, not only had to adjust to their situation, but also, were stripped of both possessions and dignity and went from having everything to absolutely nothing. Individuals are dehumanized and lose their sense of individuality when their possessions are taken away from them; possessions that make them different from each other like clothing, personal appearance, friends, families, names, etc. In Survival in Auschwitz, the people were taken away from their friends and families to detention camps where they were immediately stripped of their clothing and their valued items: “Nothing belongs to us any more; they have taken away our clothes, our shoes, even our hair; if we speak, they will not listen to us, and if they listen, they will not understand.” (Levi 27) The prisoners lost everything they owned, from their material possessions to their individuality. When I turned fifteen, I was forced to move here to the United States from the Philippines and like Levi, I had to leave behind all my personal belongings and also my friends and relatives. I was stripped away from my old life similar to the

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