Authority and Legitimacy Leadership and Trust in Essay

Excerpt from Essay :

authority and legitimacy, leadership and trust in All Quiet on the Western Front and Survival in Auschwitz

All Quiet on the Western Front" by Remarque and "Survival in Auschwitz" by Primo Levi are two novels that due share some things that are in common because they are both war novels. For example, the novel All Quiet on the Western Front depicts the battle of the Germans during World War I. However, "Survival in Auschwitz "also a war novel is a book of how life in a concentration camp was. It is Primo Levi's story of being taken as an Italian partisan in December 1943 and shipped to Poland because he was a Jew. With that said, when it comes to similarities and dissimilarities, both "All Quiet on the Western Front" by Remarque and "Survival in Auschwitz" displayed various forms of authority and legitimacy, leadership and trust by the way orders were giving and taken, bravery being able to stand strong in the test of time and knowing who and what a person could trust.


When it comes to authority, both books displayed this nature in many different ways. In All Quiet on the Western Front, having lust for power is what really made most of the authority figures much less mortal and this turned out to be a problem for instance, the question revives, more predominantly as he hears there's no more beer in the canteen. "It's not only Himmelstoss, there are lots of them. As sure as they get a stripe or a star they become different men, just as though they'd swallowed concrete." (3.54) Here, Paul was mentioning that authority figures generations that were older -- teachers, leaders and parents, for instance Kantorek -- needed to have been intelligent attendants to the future and that, as young men, the undeveloped fighters all had this assumption that in some strange way they would be. Authority in "Survival in Auschwitz" was different. Here, Levi had this belief that when provided command of his friends, the Jewish leader would basically in every case always misuses his power so that they can show skill for the position in addition to discharge their hatred for their oppressors onto their participants. Even though they never selected Levi to become a "prominenten," this did not make much of a difference because his skills as a chemist turned out to be his redeeming issue. Levi was picked to be one of the three Jewish prisoners selected to have a job in the chemistry laboratory in other part of the camp. Once more Levi denotes to his "fortune" when he mentions "So it would seem that fate has arranged that we three suffer neither hunger nor cold this winter" (Levi 140).


When it comes to legitimacy the characters in the story (those that separate from political figures talked about) are all fictional, nonetheless most of things are founded on numerous soldiers that had served with them during World War I. The novel even though it is not real does seem to find a way to give an excellent, truthful account to this real war issue which sort of makes it legitimate. The book makes it real through Remarque's description of Paul Baumer. It makes it real because it gives a description in regards to the soldiers themselves, and bleak there life and future was because of the war. Remarque tries to make it real in order to convey the life of a young soldier whose life is in danger. The legitimacy in Survival in Auschwitz was not fiction but it was real. The author makes it real by showing every detail regardless how derailed it may have been. For instance, Levi uses his powerful gift of observation in labeling his fellow prisoners and those that are in authority over them, therefore this sort of brings the reader in person with some very difficult truths and questions regarding the nature of human beings. One of these evidences is man's apparently huge capability for malevolent.


Leadership in All Quiet on the Western Front was different at various places of the book but at times it was very cunning because these were young men run by older men in the company. The only way to get some of these head strong teenagers to follow them was by either manipulating or lying to them about things and in fact that was the only way they could recruit a lot of these young men. With their leadership, they had to paint a picture that made it look as though the grass was actually greener on the other side which it apparently was not. For example, Paul remembers his schoolmaster, Kantorek, a ferociously nationalistic man who convinced a lot of Paul's friends to register as volunteers so that they could prove their nationalism. Joseph Behm, did not want to do it but the pressure from leadership made him. This young man became the first soldier to die and his death was terrible. After Behm's death, Paul and his colleagues lost all of their trust such as Kantorek.

In Survival in Auschwitz, leadership was also cunning but in a more brutal way. Leadership rather it is among the Nazi's or those that had a little rank in the camp could not be trusted. Primo had become his own leader and that was called survival. Leadership in the book was inhumane and barbaric. All of the leadership positions were abused and some anything less than them as non-human.


Trust in All Quiet on the Western Front is evident. The themes in All Quiet on the Western Front additionally familiarize the reader with the true realities of war such as trust. Remarque highlights the strong feeling of comradeship among soldiers that comes when war happens. Camaraderie is a theme that is very important throughout the book because it shows trust. "But by far the most important result was war awakened in us a strong, practical sense of esprit de corps, which in the field developed into the finest thing that arose out of the war- comradeship." (26-27) In the book their comradeship is what keeps them together. This quote does make it evident that these men in Baumer's company appreciated their association and lived like they were lifelong brothers. One example of this kind of spirit of the troops is when Paul carries his injured friend Katczinsky to get some help. Even though gets a fragment in the head and dies while being carried by Paul, this was a clear show of comradeship. This showed that everybody needed someone to rely on. The comradeship represents trust in the book because that is all they had to stand for.

In Survival in Auschwitz trust had a different turn because there was not anyone Primo could trust. For example, in this same chapter of The Drowned Levi recalls how many prisoners, especially among his fellow Italians, were immediately sent to their death simply because, that Nazi's did not trust them. The Nazi's did not trust anyone and those that were inmates had a lack of trust as well. Levi understood that communication was key in the camp but he also knew that who he connected with had to be very restricted because nobody could be trusted.

In Chapter 2, suitably called the "On the Bottom," Levi understands that the "word" trust is impossible to find in the camp because nobody could be depended on. He was a prisoner and because he wore that stigma, he was neither trusted by those that were his inmates. Many tried to befriend other people in order to either try or kill them to get their food and clothing or they just wanted to trick them.

They would trick them into spilling some valuable information that the…

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