To start, I will be comparing the novel Night and the film The Boy in the Striped Pajamas. There are many characters that change in emotion and actions during these works. During the novel Night, Elie changed his faith from being a strong Jewish believer in his savior to not being religious and rebelling against his beliefs altogether. In the film The Boy in the Striped Pajamas, Elsa changes from at the beginning being ok with the move of her family and her husbands actions as a high-ranked German solider to not supporting it at all and basically giving up there relationship because her husband is doing something so wrong. However, to compare these two works of literature, the characters both intended to help someone. Elie wanted to protect and be there for his Father through the whole struggle while Elsa also wanted to protect her son Bruno from growing up to be just like his father.
Conflicts also occurred during this time. When Elie gave up on his faith, he gave up on his god that he served even though he knew that was the main person that kept him alive and helped him survive. Bruno’s father in The Boy in the Striped Pajamas causes a great conflict when he tries to hide all this from his family by calling the concentration camp a farm. The difference and similarity in these to is that in Night, Elie’s a Jew trying to conquer all these battles while in the film, Bruno’s father is the one causing this suffering upon the Jewish people. Now, you will view my reaction to The Boy in the Striped Pajamas.
Many emotions went through my mind and body while watching this film The Boy in the Striped Pajamas. I felt anger. Anger arose in me when I saw that Bruno’s father was hiding the Jewish concentration camp from his family. Sadness also arose in me when Bruno was put to death by the gas chamber before his parents discovered where he was. I felt curiosity when Bruno was so interested to go on an “adventure” to discover the “farm”. I was curious to understand why he was so thrilled to go see the camp. I guess since he was so young and did not understand. I will now explain how I felt about the actions of the characters.
The characters acted many different ways during the film and thought different decisions and beliefs during the film. Personally, I disagreed with the main percentage of characters during the film. I didn’t agree with any of the soldiers’ decisions to hold the Jewish people in hostage because they are people just like everyone but express their beliefs differently. I agree with Bruno’s decision to become friends with Shmuel but, they could have at least had Shmuel escape the camp and enjoy life. All these people should just realize that the Jewish people are just like the German people, the only difference is they have different beliefs in their religious lives. If I could, I would tell them to treat others the way they want to be treated. Even thought this happened a time ago, I will compare this to the real world now.
In the real world today, we experience many issues but racism and conviction to faith stuck out most. I have personally experienced racism in my life. For me being an African-American living in a predominately white town it’s easy to be selected out for my big difference. Not only myself, but my family experiences it too. On my dad’s job, his life was threatened by a white person with a gun. Going out to places with my family, being the only black people in the building, and seeing the looks we get from people can really hurt. I pray that African-American’s in present day do not get treated like the Jewish people during the Holocaust or slaves back in the day. In addition, being convicted for your faith is a problem in real life. For myself, I have experienced this but not as bad a Shmuel and his fellow people. Because I am a strong Christian believer in God I may get looked down upon, ridiculed, or talked about but I do not let that bring me down. I stick strong to what I have been taught and raised on my whole life. Nobody should be disrespected or looked down upon because they believe in something different then you. Everybody is a human being no matter what. Through this all, I have reflected on my feelings and learned so much that I will now share.
During this piece, I felt many emotions. Like I said before, I felt great anger during this film. I also felt distraught during this. A mother losing her only son for something stupid her husband was doing against another race.
I have learned one main theme in this story: Treat others the way you want to be treated. Personally, I wouldn’t have wanted to be treated in anyway like the Jewish people were taught during this time. Considering one of my friends, a teenage from Springhill just passed away. He was remembered for nothing but good things. I haven’t heard one bad thing about him! When I die, I want to be remembered as someone that made a difference, lived a great life, and treated others with respect. The Nazi soldiers in this film will have to live with the guilt of the thousands of Jews that they killed. I could never live with myself if I was one of those soldiers. If somebody in my family were to be dealing with killing the Jewish citizens, I would not associate with them anymore.
Having someone, my age, which I actually knew pass away hurts a lot! He wasn’t afraid to express his beliefs or be convicted of his faith even if people acted like the Nazis in this film and ridiculed him. Life is to short now to want to kill, harm, or ridicule somebody for being different. Whether they look different, act different, or believe differently then you may. In my everyday life, I will not disrespect others for something they may do or be different then me. This novel and film actually brought a different way of seeing life in my eyes. I do not see what made the Jewish people so terrible that the Germans had to treat them this way! Every time I do something now, I think would I want this done to me or how do I want to be remembered when I’m gone.
The Boy in the Striped Pajamas. Dr. Mark Herman. Miramax Film Corp., 2008. Wiesel, Elie. Night. New York: Bantam Books, 1986