Throughout the novel of Schindler’s List, by Thomas Keneally, the message of courage is portrayed greatly. Keneally was a gentile man who wrote about how bad the Holocaust was, even-though he was not Jewish. He tells a story of how one man successfully saved thousands of Jews by letting them work for him. Keneally wrote about how helping someone pays off and by letting someone have a second chance which gives them a sense of hope in times of hardship. When Schindler was helping out Jews, Germany was taken over by Hitler’s Nazis. In times of hardship, some people stand up for the people in need and protect and help them.
Oskar Schindler, a rich factory owner, risks his life and spends his personal fortune to save Jews listed as his workers during World War 2. Oskar Schindler risks everything to help the Jews escape the Holocaust. He is a German man and he should be against the Jews, in an idealistic way in Nazi Germany, but he is against the Third Reich. His heroism is deeply appreciated by the Jews as a whole for his works. He put people to work for him and the Nazis let those select Jews live. In one scene Schindler puts a man with one arm to work, because he surely would have been killed by the S.S officers due to his disability. The Nazis confront the handicapped man, and he tells them that he works for Mr. Schindler, shoveling snow. The Nazis leave him alone and tell Schindler that “there is a defected Jew working”(123) for him. Schindler tells them that he wants the man working for him. A few days later the Nazis come back to the man and ask how is job is going. They then detain him and take him behind a building and shoot him. Schindler was a good man and he demonstrates this by giving people a helping hand. He tries to also bribe the Nazis in not killing any of his workers. “The S.S are corruptible as any police force.”(227) He wants to bribe them because he wants to keep all of his employees healthy and not dead. He stands up in a time of oppression and he shows how one person can have a major impact on a society.
The style of Thomas Keneally is very descriptive and it’s in a point of view, where he is overlooking Oskar Schindler’s illustrious life. He tells each important event in step by step detail. He tells exactly what people look like and he tells how the army is completely ready for an invasion. “They were healthy looking young men who had spent all spring and summer on maneuvers.”(41) He is showing how the soldiers have been conditioning for their arduous campaign of military brutality against defenseless people. He wants the reader to know how life was exactly like for people throughout the years of change in Europe. Due to the volatile times, the European powers had to build up their military and by training soldiers for maneuvers all spring and summer, this made them battle-ready. Keneally wants to show the reader exactly how something happened and by doing this it draws the reader’s attention. He does this by using factual events in his work, which also makes it so people can relate to what he is saying since they had experienced or learned about this time. Keneally shows how writing with description captivates the reader’s attention because of the factual events in his work.
Throughout the novel, Oskar Schindler has many conflicts with the Nazis. He has to always protect his workers by telling the Nazis that all people work for him. His workers are primarily Jewish and he had to save them from being executed because of their race. Oskar had to persuade Nazis to let his workers be on a day to day basis. “Don’t touch any of my workers!”(101) This shows how Oskar wants to keep his workers intact and he wants to spare their lives since it was a time of religious persecution due to the uprising of Hitler. Oskar is shown to be a caring person and he always has conflicts and shows how is ingenuity lets him prevail without his workers being killed. I have seen throughout World War 2 that many people have kicked the Jews out their country and what Schindler has done was a simply a heroic act. He shows he can succeed against all odds.
Throughout the novel, the setting is explained in many different ways. The story takes place in Nazi Germany in which all of the minorities, namely the Jews, were persecuted brutally against. The setting is in the Alps for the first part of the book where Oskar is racing motorcycles because he was a professional motorcycle racer. His business takes place in an urban environment in which the Nazis control. Schindler does all of his underground rescuing directly underneath the Nazis’ noses, without them even noticing. Schindler risked his life daily by going and standing up for what he believes is right. “I just want to stand up for the helpless in theses oppressive times.”(166) In a totalitarian government Schindler would be considered opposition and he would be destroyed by the Nazi regime. So he was also persecuted against even-though he was a gentile.
There are many symbols expressed by Thomas Keneally throughout the book. One symbol is the swastika which is the symbol for the Nazis. The swastika is supposed to mean peace and good luck, but in this case it means world domination and genocide. But that is not the real symbol of this novel. The real symbol is the list. It means saving everybody who is on it. It is a sense of hope for the Jews, they need to be put on the list in order for their lives to be spared. “We need the list, Schindler?”(109) This is when the Nazis were trying to get the list so they could exterminate all of the Jews who were on it. What Schindler is trying to do takes so much courage and it gives the people of oppression some sense of hope. They have nobody to protect them and what Schindler is doing is revered greatly by the Jewish people as a whole. The symbol of the swastika is completely used out of context. The list however, was a sense of hope.
The plot of Schindler’s List is to show how one man can stand up in a time of oppression and prevail. During the book Oskar comes to terms with reality and he figures out that he must help all of the Jews. He has to help Jews because his accountant is Jewish and he did not want to see him die because of his religion. He feels that nobody should be killed because of religion. So he decides to take as many Jews under his wing as possible. He puts them to work for him doing various things. He pays them and protects them from the Nazis. “I feel I need to help out in some way.”(193) He feels that since he helps out that he is doing good for a people. He has to be able to help out his workers. He feels that all people should be equal. He is absolutely right. What he had done was a beautiful thing.
Basically, what I have seen is that Schindler was an amazing person. Nobody helped the Jews in World War 2, but Schindler did. It was a highly revered and heroic thing to do. I believe that the equality Schindler felt was truthfully amazing and he should go down in history as a savior. Schindler was a man who cared greatly about people. He was one of those men that felt that all men were created equal.