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In a time and place where unity of all people is taught as an essential for the future of our world, it's almost unfeasible to grasp the horror of the Holocaust. No words or poem or detailed description can describe the level of terror and oppression that took place. Fugitive Pieces and Schindler’s List both portrays protagonists who are courageous and protective father figures. Both works look at the persecution and massacre of millions Jews. Between Fugitive Pieces and Schindler’s List there are numerous similarities but nevertheless there are several prominent differences such as the narrative point of view.
The two works of Fugitive Pieces by Anne Michaels and Schindler’s List by Steven Spielberg display striking similarities in their main themes and settings; however, there is an intriguing contrast between the two texts in the scope and scale of the two narratives.
Both texts feature protagonists who are courageous and protective father figures. Athos Roussos, one of the main characters in Fugitive Pieces, rescues Jacob from the Nazis and becomes like a father to him. “I will be your kumbaros, your father, the marriage sponsor for you and your sons.......” (Michaels, Pg 14). Athos takes Jacob to Greece, to help him forget the memories of his parent’s tragic death. He provides Jacob with the luxuries of exotic food, shelter and fashionable clothing. Athos goes as far as to risk his own life by taking in Jacob and protecting him from the Nazis. Similarly in Schindler’s List, Oscar Schindler saves the lives of over 1100 Jews from oppression, murder and torture. Schindler bribes and befriends the Nazi authorities to liberate the Jews from Labour Camps and bring them to safety. Using every ounce of his money and at the verge of bankruptcy, Schindler is still motivated to save every possible life. Oscar put’s his own life and reputation in danger to save the lives of hundreds of Jews, which at the time was considered treason and punishable by death.
Both works of Fugitive Pieces and Schindler’s List look at the brutal murders and the torture of innocent people of Jewish decent. Jacob’s parents were mercilessly murdered by the Nazi’s. Jacob’s mother was beaten and raped before being shot to death. Jacob’s father was forced to witness the rape of his wife before being murdered himself. “He turned his head, and tears ran down his face like water coming down from a waterfall.” (Michaels, Pg 12). Jacob’s sister is tortured, strangled, and eventually taken to a concentration camp where she is gassed to death. Comparably in Schindler’s List there is the mass murder, persecution and starvation of millions of Jews. A lot of the Jews are gassed, beaten, used as punching bags and shot to death as part of a game. Some of them are deprived of food and starved until they are overcome by malnutrition or eventually dieing from hunger. They are forced to work as house hold slaves non-stop while being paid nothing. Innocent women and children are put through excruciating mental and physiological pain, while the men are accused and punished barbarically for crimes they did not commit.
Although there are many resemblances between Fugitive Pieces and Schindler’s List there is a very visible distinction in the view point of both works. Fugitive Pieces is a first person narrative. It is a personal account of Jacob’s survival of the Holocaust and his reintegration into society. Jacob talks about witnessing the murder of his parents at a very young age and the scars that of that left him deranged. Jacob is rescued by Athos from the Jungles of Biskupin, Germany and taken to Greece. He describes a process of healing as he tires to overcome his fears of being taken away by Nazis and his guilt of witnessing his parent’s murder. Jacob slowly beings to reform his life while adjusting to the daily norms of society with the help of Athos and his new friends. While on the contrary Schindler’s List is a third person narrative and depicts the history of not one person but of many people during the unfortunate times of the Holocaust. Schindler’s List looks at individual events such as the gassing of thousands of Jews. It shows a very vivid picture inside of the Ghetto’s which shows the horrible condition of the Jews. The text looks at individual stories of different families and how they survived and coped with the terrifying events of the Holocaust. Schindler’s List looks at the role of Oscar Schindler in the salvation of 1100 Jews. The text examines the heroics of Oscar Schindler and how he used his money and reputation to buy the Jews out of Concentration Camps and bring them to safety.
The two works of Fugitive Pieces by Anne Michaels and Schindler’s List by Steven Spielberg exhibit distinguishing similarities in their main themes and settings; however, there is an interesting contrast between the two texts in the scope and scale of the two narratives. Fugitive Pieces and Schindler’s List both portray protagonists who are valiant and protective father figures. Both works look at the torture and murder of millions of Jews. Fugitive Pieces and Schindler’s List have many similarities but there are noticeable differences such as the point of view. It is said that history is shaped by the lives of great men. Great men are leaders. They bring about change; they improve the lives of others; they introduce new ideas, and most importantly put others before them self. Athos Roussos and Oscar Schindler fit this analogy to perfection. They risked their comfort, wealth, reputation and power to save the lives of the innocent and condemned. We are sold upon the notion that all men created are equal. Unfortunately ideologies of the Nazis who believed that to be a mere opinion and possessed hate. Searching to find every possible excuse, apprehension to criticize and prosecute the Jews and anyone that stood against their opinion. This is the reason for cruel massacre of millions of Jews during the Second World War. However, with today's modern teaching techniques and tools, we are effectively working towards eliminating narrow-minded thinking now and into the future, where ever man and women will be considered equal.
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