Schindler’s List

Topics: Jews, The Holocaust, Judaism Pages: 8 (3023 words) Published: March 18, 2011
Schindler’s List

Part II: Engaging with the text

Characters

The characters in Schindler’s List are very different because of their attitudes towards the Holocaust. The three main characters that will be focused on are Oskar Schindler, Itzhak Stern and Amon Goeth. These characters were very influential during the Holocaust; therefore, it is important to analyze these characters to gain a better understanding of the film.

Oskar Schindler

Our first introduction to Oskar Schindler was as a customer in a fancy restaurant. My first impression of Oskar Schindler was a rich and powerful business man. He was well-dressed and well-mannered; therefore, he must be from a higher class. He flashed his pile of money a couple of times to pay for the food and entertainment for the military men. I wasn’t sure whether Oskar spent his money these militants because he wanted to show off his money or to bribe them, in order to gain more power and respect within Germany. Later it was revealed that Schindler was a businessman. He was running around to please the army in order open his factory and gain access to cheap Jewish labors.

Oskar was very greedy at the beginning of the film. Everything he did revolved around money and profits. He didn’t want to hire both Polish and Jewish workers because the Poles cost too much money. Furthermore, when he was having lunch, the only thing he talked about was how the business is. As long as he was making money, he didn’t care what was going on around him. Another example of Oskar’s greediness was when he had argument with Goeth. He was angry that Goeth took his workers and shot them. Oskar confronted Amon that he was losing money for every worker that Amon killed. This was a terrible comment because it shows that Oskar had no interest in the death of his Jewish workers. All he cared about was that their death caused bad business. I believe that the reason why Oskar was so greedy is because he came into the city with no money. When he was able to start the metal utensils business and earned large amount of money, he became obsessed with money.

Along with his greediness, Oskar was a man of indifference. This was shown when a Jewish worker came to thanked him. The Jewish worker was very grateful that Oskar had given him a job. If he did not work at Oskar’s factory, the German soldiers will probably have shot him since he had only one arm. As this man was thanking Oskar, Oskar seems to be uninterested and annoyed. By his facial expressions, I can tell that Oskar wasn’t listening to the worker. He was more interested in eating his lunch than listening to this insignificant man. After that, Oskar was criticizing Stern for hiring this man since this man had only one arm and unable to work at full speed. He did not appreciate the Jewish worker at all, even though this worker probably had a lot of difficulties working. He only cared about the fact that this worker will not be able to work fast enough and he will lose money.

As the story went on, Oskar started to change and became more alert of what was happening to the Jewish people. He started to feel compassionate about their deaths. Because of his change of heart, he saved the lives of many Jewish people. It was clear that Oskar treated the Jewish people better than he was before. He tried his every best to prevent the deaths of these people even if he had to persuade the authority with money. This creates a contrast because Oskar was always portrayed up until this point as a man who was money-obsessed. He used his influences and power to ensure that these workers were treated as humans. Also, Oskar used his influences to persuade Goeth and other German soldiers to spare the lives of the Jews. I believe that Itzhak Stern and the little girl in the red dress caused the change in Oskar.

When Oskar first saw the little girl in the red dress, her innocence captured his attention. Oskar only focused his attention on the little girl, who...
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