Comparison of "The Hearing Trumpet"-Leonora Carrington and "If this is a Man"- Primo Levi.

Essay by dyer1High School, 12th grade April 2007

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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 it does not seem to go much further than that. Even when first entering the institution she does not try and hide anything and she “tries” to ask as many questions as she wants and tries to make contact to all the other people who are “captive” in this institution.

Primo Levi however is faced with a completely different kind of institution, an institution of death work and survival of only the strongest. Primo Levi feels this for the first time the night before their deportation. There seems to be an odd atmosphere during this time where Primo Levi goes into deep thought something which Marian does not do when first entering her institution. Primo Levi also goes into a state where he does not seem to fully comprehend his surroundings and what is going on around him.

Yet after this initial period of confusion for both they change their behaviour. (.......) Marian starts to see the “evil” of her institution and starts trying to unravel certain aspects of what is being preached and questions her surroundings, for instance looking at the painting in the Dining Hall and asking...