Discuss at least 2 of the following prompts using 100 words for each based on this reading: Gustaw Herling, part 2 of “A World Apart”

  • Discuss Herling’s critique of the Enlightenment on page 131, specifically the passage that begins “If the recollection…” and ends “…positivist myth of progress.” You may want to do a Wikipedia search for Positivism.
  • Discuss Herling’s ideas on page 132 about the notion that “man can only be human under human conditions.” His idea is that a person cannot be judged for their actions when they are forced to live in inhuman conditions.
  • Discuss the theme of Hunger in Part 2. As in Part 1, Hunger plays a very important roll in Part 2.

Chapter 11:

  • The House of the Dead: this is from Dostoevsky’s story “Notes from the House of the Dead.” Dostoevsky spent a lot of time in Tsarist prison camps, which eventually turned into the GULAG under Stalin. If you’re familiar with Dostoevsky or his story discuss the obvious influence it had on Herling.
  • Re-read the passage that begins on page 163 and ends on page 164 about Hope. What do you make of the character’s ideas on hope?
  • Re-read the middle full paragraph on page 178 that discusses the possibility of forgiveness? What do you make of his thoughts on forgiveness?
  • Discuss Herling’s hunger strike in Chapter 13. Discuss the irony of the fact that earlier hunger had been used as a means of oppressing and controlling him, but now the hunger strike is his only way to resist.

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