The Drowned and the Saved
In this chapter, Primo Levi discusses the nature of the humans, how people tend to be selfish and greedy when it comes to the matter of survival. In my opinion, there should not be a question of moral or ethics for our greed because we tend to live to gain our own benefit. It is prisoners’ will to survive and withstand in the harsh environment of the concentration camps. As mentioned before, we should not debate whether it was right for prisoners to act selfishly in order to pursue for individuals’ interest rather than collective whole, rather, we should consider those who had led to the desperate situations like this. It is German and Nazi who had confiscated all the property and liberty.
In reading this book, I thought about the Group 4 project, the IB science project that students are working collectively. From that experience, I learned how important it is for us to cooperate with each other and communicate with other field of science to perform experiment and collect reasonable data. For instance, in G4 project, I was accountable for Biology; I had responsibility in researching and collecting data in Biology section, while other students are responsible for the information of their own field. And it is when those collective data and information put together that we could analyze and present our information. I thought about prisoners working together in pursuit of one goal, a goal to have freedom of living. However, the imagination was not really practical because the conditions are so horrible in the camps that prisoners would only pursuit in self-interest they do not have extra space to take care of the others. For instance, if a quarter of bread is left, and your neighborhood is dying, it is likely for people who are full to share the food with the neighbors. However, if you are also in desperate hunger, you will never share with the others. I think this is the nature of our humans that we pursuit only for our self benefit. With this concept in mind, prisoners would never be able to find a common point of negotiation that collective work would never be accomplished. Thus, I shall be thankful for what I have, and that I have opportunity to work with others is huge blessing.