Schindler's List – Character Essay
This is close to 1400 words – how much could do in the exam?
"For a text to be appealing it needs to have heroic characters"
Schindler's List, the 1993's film directed by Steven Spielberg, explores the horrors and atrocities committed against the Jewish people during the holocaust. The film has found a place in the hearts of many viewers with its brutally honest portrayal of the terror of the concentration camps and treatment of Jews. Acting both to preserve the history of the holocaust and to inform new generations of the past, the film has importance and meaning. However, Spielberg brings an element of hope to a deeply tragic film by way of heroic characters such as Oskar Schindler and Itzhak Stern. Though these characters the audience is given a glimmer of hope. In this essay I will be examining the statement; for a text to be appealing it needs to have heroic characters. I believe this to be especially true for Schindler's List. The film has received some criticism for focusing too much on the heroic character who saved people, when the majority of Jews involved in the holocaust had a much more tragic story. But this film could not have reached as wide of an audience as it did without the appealing nature of heroic character; the people who make positive change. Very strong intro here – a little repetitive in the middle part
The character of Oskar Schindler is not immediately introduced to the audience as the hero of the story, quite the opposite in fact. Spielberg makes a point of setting Schindler up as a selfish, manipulative but intelligent character. The scene, in which we are introduced to Schindler, cuts between close up's of a bottle of alcohol, a wad of cash and cigarettes, all being handled by Schindler. Spielberg uses these symbols to demonstrate Schindler's selfish character and taste for luxury. Although cigarettes would have been normal in the 1930s to 1940s (when the film is set) yet they are now perceived in a negative light, a perception that Spielberg utilities to manipulate the audience into a sense of mistrust towards the character. Interesting point Spielberg also shows Schindler picking out cufflinks, straightening his suit, cleverly demonstrating that appearance is exceptionally important to Schindler. Throughout this whole sequence Schindler's face is avoided, setting him up as a man of mystery but also cleverly deepening our mistrust of the character. The relieve is held off until dialogue form side character are heard, "who is that man? That, that is Schindler." Perplexed the audience realizes that this is the character that would save the lives of over a 1000 Jews. It is from this beginning that Spielberg launches Schindler into his transformation into a heroic character. As Schindler learns of the holocaust, so do we. It is his eyes that reflect the horror felt by the audience. His words though eventually express our outrage. His actions that evoke change. Schindler se...