â€œ They will even take away our name: and if we want to keep it, we will have to find ourselves the strength to do so, to manage somehow so that behind the name something of us, of us as we were, still remains.â€(Levi, 27) The author, Primo Levi, is referring to what he calls as, â€œ the demolition of a manâ€ (Levi, 26) this reference becomes a common reoccurring theme in the text Survival in Auschwitz and the film Life is Beautiful. In both texts we see our main characters being stripped of everything they own, tangible or intangible. Still, both main characters manage to maintain the one thing that defines them, their dignity. Dignity was something that that, as hard as the opposition tried, could not take from them. This ultimately kept them alive in the face of death, and in turn, what could be defined as a man.
When discussing the demolition of a man we first need to discuss what, exactly, defines a man. In my opinion, it is what lies in his soul, his most basic existence, his faith and his will to go on. Both of our characters resisted the transformation into becoming sheep and being led to the slaughter, like so many others around them had been doing. They resisted oppression by showing they had the confidence in the dignity of human life. They defied the destruction that faced them on a daily basis; this became their only defense, their resistance to tyranny. Hitlerâ€™s people exercised a tyrannical rule over the characters, yet it was a tyranny over the body not over the mind.
Guido, the main character, exercised a form of quiet opposition throughout the story, taking advantage of every given situation, this ultimately saved his wife and child. His uncle told Guido, that, â€œ silence is the most powerful cryâ€, when he himself was faced by the barbarians in the movie and before they went to the concentration camp. He heeded his uncleâ€™s advice and practiced this quiet opposition throughout the movie.