What is the theme of the chapter "Lead" in The Periodic Table by Primo Levi?
The Periodic Table is a book written by the Holocaust survivor Primo Levi. It was first published in 1975. Each chapter is named after an element of the periodic table, which is the reason for the title of this book. “Lead” is one of these chapters.
The main theme of this chapter is the necessity and importance of earning money by doing what you know best. Sometimes in life, it is better to just continue doing what you are doing, rather than trying to insist on change. Lead is used as a metaphor for this in the story, as the narrator tells us that “lead is ... a metal which you feel is tired, perhaps tired of transforming itself and that does not want to transform itself anymore.”
The narrator is a miner. He and his family make money from identifying certain rocks and extracting lead from them. As the narrator has no more luck in extracting lead in the place that he is currently working at, he travels further away in order to find lead somewhere...
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