The character Death, in Zusack’s The Book Thief says: “That’s the sort of thing I’ll never know- what humans are capable of. ” Discuss the way this statement reflects one or more texts you have seen or read this year. Adaptation is the ability to adjust for existence under environmental conditions. Like how animals adapt in the wild, humans are also capable to be tolerant in difficult situations. We do not know our limit of cruelty or kindness. Although most people choose to be kind and sympathetic to others, there are also people who are cruel and cold-hearted.
Mark Zusack states this idea in his book, The Book Thief from death’s point of view, “That’s the sort of thing I’ll never know, or comprehend- what humans are capable of. ” Amon Goth’s cruelty to Jews in the movie, Schindler’s List is an example of human’s undeterminable mind. The morning when groups of Jews arrive to his work camp, Goth randomly starts shooting the Jews from his veranda. At first, the Jews thought they are now safe since they have survived the chaos in the city. Therefore, Goth shoots them to rise up the tension of the scene.
His shots cause chaos at the camp and the view of the chaos from his veranda makes the Jews look more animal like and vulnerable. Later in the film, the Jews’ wedding scene, Schindler’s social party scene and Goth torturing Helen scene are shown by juxtaposition. This juxtaposition shows those three different scenes that create different moods in a short amount of time. This also shows Goth’s insanity. He asks questions to Helen however, he answers those questions by himself pretending Helen is the one who’s answering them.
His sudden mood swings also hints about his odd mental condition. In the film Schindler’s List, the audiences are mesmerized by the protagonist, Oskar Schindler’s generosity. It uses juxtaposition between Schindler and Itzhak Stern’s thorough search of all the names to add to the list to save the Jews from the work camp and the images of those people to show the critical subclimax of the movie. Schindler’s break down at the end of the movie touches the audiences’ hearts. He keeps murmuring to Itzhak about his regrets.
He thinks that if he knew that the war was about to end, e would have spent everything he has to save more Jews. He was touched when the Jews have him a gold ring as a gift for his devotions. When the Jews hand him the ring his hands were shaking and he was shocked. Most people would not risk their lives to safe others. However, Schindler’s selflessness is magnificent which has save thousands of Jews’ lives. Another example from this film is at the beginning when Narzi soldiers evacuate and execute the Jews in the city. These soldiers barge into the apartments destroy all the belonging in their paths.
When they cannot control the situation, they start random shootings which killed hundreds of thousands of people. Not one of the soldiers hesitates before they put a bullet in the Jews’ heads. Although there were bloodsheds, we could not see the colour since almost the entire movie is shown in black and white. Otherwise, these bloodshed scenes would be even more horrible. The Nazi’s discrimination towards the Jews is also a very cruel act that most people are not capable of understanding the reason why they did it.
The signs of discrimination are shown in the film. The Nazis let them run around naked during the medical checks. Although the doctors can easily determine the difference between the sick and the healthy Jews, they forced them to be examined naked in the camp. This is shown to portray how powerless and embarrassed the Jews would have felt at that time. The director shows this scene from many different angles to capture all the actions happening in the area.
The tombstones of the Jews are used to build up roads which is also another way of dehumanizing the Jews. These tombstones are important for their family members but they have used it as a resource to walk on it which shows disrespect. It is also to make to look like the Jews are powerless and vulnerable. Another surprising thing that overwhelms people is the Jews’ capability to harsh violence by the Nazis. At the beginning of the movie, the Jews are sent off to the work camp by travelling in squashing trains and trucks.
They had to work hard labour although this kind of work used to be unfamiliar for most people; some still manage to survive this hardship. Although they have to do harsh labours, the execution, and concentration camps they still do not lose hope. The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank wrote that, “Someday I will be able to taste freedom and some day we will all be free. ” No matter how bad the situation is humans also hope for the best. I believe that this is something that only humans are most capable of. It is hope that let so many people conquer hardships and difficulties.
Courtney from Study Moose
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