Albert Camus: People's Inability to Act and Schindler's List

Topics: Nazi Germany, The Holocaust, Oskar Schindler Pages: 2 (726 words) Published: October 8, 1999
Albert Camus: People's Inability to Act and Schindler's List

"I know that the great tragedies of history often fascinate men with approaching horror. Paralyzed, they cannot make up their minds to do anything but wait. So they wait, and one day the Gorgon devours them, But I should like to convince you that the spell can be broken, that there is an illusion of impotence, that strength of heart, intelligence and courage are enough to stop fate and sometimes reverse it." Albert Camus.

Albert Camus believes that the greatest tragedies of history are so horrific that people stand in awe, and consequently, nobody even attempts to do anything in response of the tragedies. Many are under "an illusion of impotence" , and eventually, Camus states, "The Gorgon devours them". Also, in order for this "spell to be broken", people must have "strength of heart, intelligence and courage." I believe that Albert Camus is correct, people are under a vale of impotence when it comes to the tragedies of the world, and that people can easily overcome this inability and reverse their fate, or let the "Gorgon" devour them. Camus's beliefs can be proved through the use of examples from the movie Schindler's List.

Oscar Schindler, the movie's main character, is, in the beginning of the movie, not actually aware of the full extent of the killing of Jews and the powerful anti-Semitic outlook of his comrades. His ties relating to the affairs of the Nazi party and his loyalty to his country shield him from this knowledge. Thus, it can be concluded that in the beginning of the movie Schindler does not fully grasp the tragedy at hand, and consequently does nothing attempt to aid the Jews. Shindler's realizations of the horrors of the holocaust begin in one scene near the middle of the film. During this infamous turning point of the movie, Schindler, on top of a barren hill, traces the path of a young and helpless Jewish girl who wanders haphazardly through the streets...
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