"Saved" by Tadeusz Różewicz - text and interpretation

"Survivor" is an extremely moving poem by Tadeusz Różewicz. The author is a representative of the Columbus generation. In his piece, he shows very poignantly what imprint World War II left on him and his contemporaries.

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1. "Survivor" - the content hangs

I'm twenty four years old I survived carried out for slaughter.

These are empty and unambiguous names: man and animal love and hate enemy and friend darkness and light.

A man is killed like an animal i saw: cars of chopped up people who will not be saved.

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Concepts are just words: virtue and vice truth and lie beauty and ugliness bravery and cowardice.

Virtue and vice weigh the same i saw: a man who was one vicious and virtuous.

I am looking for a teacher and master let my eyesight, hear and speak let him name things and concepts again let light be separated from darkness.

I'm twenty four years old I survived carried out for slaughter.

2. "Survivor" - poem interpretation

The lyrical subject survived. He survived the nightmare of war and occupation. This experience, however, changed him forever. Nothing is the same anymore. Basic concepts (such as man, love, darkness, and light) mean little. These are empty words.

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The death of a man is compared to the death of an animal. It is descended, ordinary, devoid of metaphysics and great mystery. She was brought to the end of biological existence. This is the result of living in captivity, where the torturers tortured people in front of others. There is no longer any hope that there is eternal life after death.

World War II victims were denied the right to a dignified death. The executioners, in turn, succumbed to beasts. The occupation destroyed everything: the old moral and ethical categories lost their raison d'être. There is no longer any line between truth and lies, good and bad.

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The lyrical subject (which can be identified with the author himself) survived the war in a biological sense. His body was spared, but his soul shattered to pieces. This shows that our life is not only physical existence, but also value systems.

3. Poetry and the experiences of World War II

The song "Survivor" is considered to be a worldview manifesto of the generation of young writers and poets who grew up during World War II. This experience left its mark on them. It had an impact on their later work and perception of reality.

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The occupation took away their youth, joy, carefree and freedom. She burdened with the luggage of tragic experiences. Now they have to create the world anew. Rebuild it. It is necessary to give words a new meaning. Man has to learn to distinguish good from evil, truth from lies, and beauty from ugliness.

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