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Human Cruelty in The Rabbit Proof Fence and The Boy in The Striped Pyjamas

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Adolf Hitler’s genocidal beliefs towards the Jewish race is clearly represented in John Boyne’s novel, The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas. Comparing to Ao Neville’s imagination to breed out the Aboriginals, which is also represented in Phillip Noyce’s movie, Rabbit Proof Fence. Cruelty can be explained as willingly causing pain to others, which is evident in Hitler and Neville’s ideology. The cruel acts of these two ‘superior’ leaders have definitely shown and emphasised the cruelty of the human race. From both texts, it is evident that the lifestyles of the children were changed under no circumstances, separated from their homes. Additionally, forms of discipline and punishments are a way to cause pain to the children. Subsequently, the two leaders were the roots of wiping out the two races, their reasoning to start discrimination between the ‘accepted’ society and the ‘outcasts’ showing how dark and cruel they can be.

The cruelty of the human race is emphasised through the changed lifestyle of Bruno and Shmuel, The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas, and to Molly, Gracie and Daisy in Rabbit Proof Fence. The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas has shown Bruno being forced to move alongside his family, to Auschwitz Poland due to his father’s new job as Commandant. The house had the reputation of being an “Empty, desolate place and there were no other houses anywhere to be seen, which meant there would be no other families around and no other boys to play with, neither friends nor trouble.” It is also self-evident that Shmuel was taken away from his home because he was born Jewish. Needless to say, Shmuel had a life before the concentration camp, before Hitler’s hate spread across Germany. He and his family were stolen from their homes, forced to wear striped pyjamas, they were stripped away from their rights, humiliated and more,”Some of the children, even some of the older ones, even the ones as grown up as her [Gretel], looked as if they were crying”. It is recognisable that in Rabbit Proof Fence, Molly, Gracie and Daisy were taken away from their homes because of their mixed blood, being called ‘half-castes’. They too were taken away from their mothers and grandmother, submitted to wear white cloths that aren’t even proper clothing. The trio girls were introduced to a new environment, they were greeted with beds, shelter with closed roofs, prayers and God, and not being able to speak their native tongue.”We’ll have no Wanka here! You talk English!”. Both texts show the obligations of the children being taken from their homes being incarcerated causing cultural oppression.

Within the texts, The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas and Rabbit Proof Fence, punishments were displayed, though they aren’t similar. They are both towards the shunned congregations, the Jewish and Half-castes. Shmuel received a horrifying punishment from Lieutenant Kotler after being caught of eating when he’s supposed to be polishing glasses with his slender hands, “Bruno smiled back and he was about to offer him some more food, but at that moment Lieutenant Kotler reappeared in the kitchen and stopped when he saw the two boys talking… ‘Did I tell you to polish those glasses?’”. The betrayal of Bruno not sticking up for him when Lieutenant Kotler witnessed him had caused Shmuel punishments, then a week after meeting at the fence to nothing, Shmuel was “Sitting cross-legged on the ground.”, but “There was a lot of bruising on his face and Bruno grimaced.” Comparing to the children’s punishments in, Rabbit Proof Fence, they were whipped and trapped in a hot box. As Molly witnessed one of the children in the hot box, it caused her feelings of hatred towards the settlement and everyone who works there, “Bad Place. Make me sick. These people. Sick. Make me sick”. Punishments and consequences are a form of discipline, but the two texts demonstrate the length that the superiors will go to, just to harm the Jewish and Half-castes.

Hitler and Neville’s Anti-Semitism could not have come from anywhere, they were the roots of discrimination and inequity towards the Jewish and Half-Blood Aboriginals. Hitler’s start of discrimination began in World War 1, after Germany’s surrender, he decided to use the Jewish as a scapegoat. As early as August 1920, Hitler tried his best to exterminate the Jewish, but once the war started, the Nazi’s recoursed to mass murder, the significant Holocaust. This resulted in six million Jewish people being murdered. Mr Ao Neville had the title as Chief Protector of the Aborigines, he had around nineteen thousand half-blood Aboriginals under his control. This is known as one of Australia’s signature events, the “Stolen Generation”. They were taken away because of assumptions of black inferiority and white superiority, due to the government and their policies of assimilation. The two leaders have both shown a superior race, being either German or White and inferior race, Jewish or Half-blood Aboriginals, they were the starting point of discrimination.

The two texts, Rabbit Proof Fence and The Boy in the Striped Pyjama’s have both shown the cruelty and callous leaders of the two significant events, the Holocaust and the “Stolen Generation”. It was shown by changing lifestyles, harsh punishments and how it all began. “All this happened a long time ago and nothing like that could ever happen again”. 

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Human Cruelty In The Rabbit Proof Fence And The Boy In The Striped Pyjamas. (2021, November 10). GradesFixer. Retrieved December 8, 2021, from https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/human-cruelty-in-the-rabbit-proof-fence-and-the-boy-in-the-striped-pyjamas/
“Human Cruelty In The Rabbit Proof Fence And The Boy In The Striped Pyjamas.” GradesFixer, 10 Nov. 2021, gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/human-cruelty-in-the-rabbit-proof-fence-and-the-boy-in-the-striped-pyjamas/
Human Cruelty In The Rabbit Proof Fence And The Boy In The Striped Pyjamas. [online]. Available at: <https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/human-cruelty-in-the-rabbit-proof-fence-and-the-boy-in-the-striped-pyjamas/> [Accessed 8 Dec. 2021].
Human Cruelty In The Rabbit Proof Fence And The Boy In The Striped Pyjamas [Internet]. GradesFixer. 2021 Nov 10 [cited 2021 Dec 8]. Available from: https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/human-cruelty-in-the-rabbit-proof-fence-and-the-boy-in-the-striped-pyjamas/
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