ENG-355 | Post-Holocaust Jewish Literature

Theme – Burdens: “The Days Darken along with Drunken, Black Milk”

The two pieces, “The Daydreams of a Drunk Woman“ and “The Way for the Gas, Ladies and Gentleman“- by two different authors – effectively distribute content about persuasions and compliance. Chiefly, genres the tone pertaining how people communicate within those short, narrative stories exhibit the difference between those two genres (wartime missions with soldiers versus timeout with companions). Additionally, alcohol is used to create a stage for the characters within these stories.

Frankly, alcohol is the burden for abuse that adversely affects their experiences. These particular moments vary from attending events with an intimate spouse and his dear client to performing with camaraderie, in order to be strict and filled with authority during dangerous missions, while consuming alcohol.  The theme remains as “the days darken along with black milk.”

Burden: The Definition of the Theme (see fig. 1)


1. Justaxpotion: schizoids

[Couples and chums drinking the alcohol]

2. Anger: cowardice clowns

3. Living among jokers (sarcastic personalities) and black milk (vodkas) 

Video: Interview with Lipspector, Clarice

Borowski, Tadeusz


Borowski created his writings before and after his life was turned upside by SS soldiers. He lived a short life after his parents and girlfriend were captured by the enemy. As a result, his writings reflect the hardships of being the victim during Hitler’s reigning in World War II.

A Short Take: Beetle Bailey

Fig. 2. Beetle Bailey comic strip/alcohol (Copyright: Mort Walker)


Burden: Drunken on [Black] Milk

Perceived Choice

The woman: This particular character chose to continue consuming both the alcohol throughout the story. Conversely, food became an option in the beginning; however, the husband managed to apply methods of perceived choice by enabling his wife moments of rest and following up taking her out to dinner with him and a wealthy client. Furthermore, this was completed without abusive coercion (aside from his statement “What the devil‘s the matter with you?”, after she yelled “don‘t paw me!”).

Thereafter, she shows regret and sadness for coercing upon herself to please her own wants and desires (gorge), “…when restored to her normal, her anesthetized body would start to wake up (throbbing); she would begin to pay for those big meals and drinks.” Overall, her attitude defends itself with astrological signs, freedoms from her dependents (the children are gone) and neglecting chores, while her spouse functions on reserves of food that were strategically placed within his reach without having to threaten to retaliate with force or aggressive behaviors – she immediately halts his path with an influential observation: ‘PAWING.’

What About Her Laughter? “And what about her laughter?… this outburst of laughter which mysteriously emerged from her full white throat, in response to the polite manners of the businessman, an outburst of laughter coming from the depths of that sleep, and from the depths of that security of someone who has a body. Her white flesh was as sweet as lobster, the legs of a live lobster wriggling slowly in the air … that urge to be sick in order to plunge that sweetness into something really awful…” – “The Daydreams of a Drunk Woman,” by Lipspector, Clarice
Finally, becoming a drunk assigned her temporary freedom from the children and husband by her having to spend her moments in a pillow or sleeping state. Also, she experiences observations that turn into horror stories for her to remember as the moment darkens into a state of foolishness and clowning like an introverted fool which is, truly, a burden of alcohol.

Social Influence 

Entirely based on coercion and social influence, “The Way for the Gas, Ladies and Gentleman“ effectively distributes content about the days when Jews were shipped out by disruptive means (packed into train cars at a rapid rate by foreign soldiers). Surprisingly, this [particular] story begins with a showing of hierarchical roles within the cast system of mercenaries, by engaging in belief systems. As the story begins, the unloaders and loaders seem to continue with their own conversations (about their living conditions and such) that clearly state how their norm is scheduled upon population control and superiority. Furthermore, these troopers prepare to participate in legendary movements to foresee the mistreatment and deaths of thousands to millions of Jewish citizens during a certain era of World War II – the Holocaust.

As the story reads, “A huge, multicolored wave of people loaded down with luggage pours from the train like a blind, mad river trying to find a new bed … before they [the Jews, etc.] can draw breath of fresh air and look at the sky, bundles are snatched from their hands, coats ripped off their backs, their purses and umbrellas taken away.” Moreover, the moments go by and day clearly begins, however, the drink of darkness takes sight within this particular context of human misery.

This story’s narrator comments near the end, “’My God, man, I am finished, absolutely finished!’ … We drink coffee with vodka; somebody opens a tin of cocoa and mixes it with sugar. We scoop it up by the handful, the cocoa sticks to the lips. Again coffee, again vodka.” As a result, the drink is shared to the point of confusion and fright, “… My heart pounds, jumps up to my throat. I can no longer control the nausea. Hunched under the train I begin to vomit. Then, like a drunk, I weave over to the stack of rails.” – which is, truly, a burden of alcohol.

Teacher’s Task

  1. Explain to the students about cultural identity.
  2. Clarify the difference between individual identity and cultural identity.
  3. Introduce the possibility to rehabilitate from alcohol addiction or abuse (Get HELP today URL). 

Student Assignment

  1. Describe the identities in the fig. 1 image, “Theme: Burden.” What makes this particular image different from the drinking scenes in the required readings?
  2. Where can juveniles and adults go to rehabilitate from alcohol additions?


Borowski, Tadeusz. “The Way for the Gas, Ladies and Gentleman“

Infante, Dominic, A., Rancer, Andrew S., Womanck, Deanna F. (2003). “Building

Communication Theory, Forth Edition. Waveland Press, Inc. Print

Lipspector, Clarice. “The Daydreams of a Drunk Woman”

Copyright: amid999 / 123RF Stock Photo

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s