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Schindler’s List by Thomas Keneally: The Eye-opening Destruction of Human Oppression

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Despite the countless award-winning recollections of indifference throughout history, the persecution depicted within Thomas Keneally’s Schindler’s List against the Jewish people during the Holocaust remains as a significant substantiation of detrimental human oppression. Thomas Keneally’s novel titled Schindler’s List should be the recipient of the 2019 Richardson Book Award as it opens readers’ eyes to the destructive nature of oppression and the importance of combating incivility within contemporary society by confronting the horrific despotism against Jews during the Holocaust. Throughout the novel, the eye-opening destructive disposition of human oppression is depicted through the dehumanizing attitudes, lack of liberty, emotional damage and physical mutilation associated with the Jewish population within Germany during the Holocaust. To begin, the dehumanizing attitudes towards the Jewish population opens readers’ eyes through the lack of identity afforded to the Jewish population and its portrayal of the animalistic treatment of Jewish prisoners. Next, the damaging temperament of opression resulting from the lack of liberty possessed by the Jews opens readers’ eyes through the depiction of compulsory labour and lack of free speech within Germany. Thirdly, the destructive emotional damage endured by the Jews throughout the Holocaust opens readers’ eyes through its illustration of the dreams of prisoners and their post-war apprehensions. Lastly, the physical devastation of the Jewish prisoners opens readers’ eyes to the destructive nature of oppression through its depiction of the lethal massacres of Jews, as well as the prisoners’ self-inflicted injuries. Altogether, it is evident that the horrific effects of indifference depicted within Schindler’s List opens readers’ eyes to the destructive cost of oppression and urges individuals to recognize and resist the growing indifference within contemporary society.

To begin, it is evident that Schindler’s List deserves to win the 2019 Richardson Book Award as its depiction of Germany’s dehumanizing treatment of the Jewish population opens readers’ eyes to the destructive nature of oppression and the importance of combating incivility within modern society. Within Thomas Keneally’s Holocaust novel, the expectation for the Jewish population to repress their former individual identities and adopt the features of an oppressed group truly opens readers’ eyes to the destructive nature of opression, as Jewish prisoners were forced to wear specific prisoner clothing. As new Jewish prisoners are admitted to the Kraków-Płaszów concentration camp, the hindrance of their unique identities resulting from oppression is illustrated when an Austrian commandant states, “all Jewish prisoners must drop any remnants of civilian clothing they still possess at the rail siding and must put on striped prison clothes or else they will be shot”. It is evident that the abandonment of the Jewish civilian clothing allows readers to comprehend the annihilation of identity among the oppressed, as the prisoners are regarded as one group of abhorrent striped detainees rather than individual human beings. The loss of identity among captive Jews resulting from the prisoner clothing also allows readers to recognize the destructive power of oppression on individuality and insinuates the need to oppose the forced conformity that is regenerating in modern society. Next, Schindler’s List opens readers’ eyes to the destruction of human oppression through its horrific depiction of the animalistic treatment of Jewish prisoners during the Holocaust. When the Jewish prisoners were forced to abandon their former freedom and begin travelling to the concentration camps, one prisoner states that the captive Jews “stood waiting for the new and decisive symbol of their status, the cattle car, to be hauled by heavy engine across their range of vision. Now, the cattle cars told them, we are all beasts together”. The horrific practice of forcing Jewish prisoners into cattle cars demonstrates the barbaric treatment that accompanies oppression, as the Austrian SS functionaries confine their human prisoners into enclosures designed for large ruminant animals. The animalistic treatment of the captive Jews resulting from the cattle cars allows readers to recognize the destructive power of oppression on human mortality and insinuates the need to encourage civilized behaviour within modern society. As a result of the novel’s horrific depiction of how dehumanizing indifference can destroy unique human identities, it is evident that Schindler’s List deserves to win the 2019 Richardson Book Award, as it opens readers’ eyes to the destructive nature of oppression and the importance of encouraging civilized behaviour within present-day society.

Next, Schindler’s List deserves to win the 2019 Richardson Book Award, as its depiction of the Jewish population’s lack of liberty opens readers’ eyes to the destructive nature of oppression and the importance of opposing indifference. Within Thomas Keneally’s novel, the impediment of freedom resulting from oppression is presented when the novel states, “As the first snows fell, Schindler noticed and was irritated when, on any given day, 60 or more of his Jewish employees would be absentees. They would have been detained by SS squads on the way to work and employed in clearing snow”. Here, Thomas Keneally allows readers to comprehend the unfeigned destruction that oppression causes on the liberties of hardworking individuals, as workers were tyrannized on their way to the factory, solely because of their Jewish ancestry. Likewise, the depiction of the forced labour of Jewish people allows readers to understand the potency of indifference, holistically appreciate their modern freedom, and comprehend the importance of opposing indifference. Secondly, Schindler’s List opens readers’ eyes to the destruction of human oppression and the importance of combating indifference through its portrayal of the lack of free speech possessed by Jews within the concentration camps. The detrimental impact of hindering free speech is exemplified when Oskar states, “Frances Spira’s ten-year-old son looked down from the balcony. To stop himself from calling out, he had jammed his fist into his mouth, since there were so many SS men in the yard that would shoot him without hesitation”. This passage allows readers to recognize how oppression destroys the liberties of individuals, as young Jewish prisoners were forced to repress their voices in fear of being killed. Moreover, the lack of Jewish free speech within the concentration camps allow readers to understand how indifference impedes the decisions among oppressed individuals. Altogether, it is clear that Schindler’s List deserves to win the 2019 Richardson Book Award, as its depiction of coercion and lack of freedom opens readers’ eyes to the destructive nature of oppression and inspires individuals to oppose indifference in order to live in a world with unimpeded freedom.

Schindler’s List is worthy of winning the 2019 Richardson Book Award, as its portrayal of the emotional suffering endured by Jews throughout the Holocaust opens readers eyes to the destructive nature of opression and the importance of opposing incivility within contemporary society. Within the novel, Keneally vividly depicts the emotional suffering that results from destructive oppression when he describes that Jewish prisoners “woke from dreams of exile and dispossession to find themselves exiled and dispossessed in a crowded room in Podgorze — the events of their dreams, the very taste of fear in dreams, finding continuity in the fears of the day”. Here, readers are able to comprehend the emotional destruction that oppression causes, as Jewish prisoners endure frightful nightmares about their own realities. The prisoners’ dreams further suggest to readers that the emotional destruction of oppression is inevitable and constant, as the prisoners are not able to deliberately or subconsciously escape their fears. Moreover, the emotional trauma endured by Jewish Holocaust prisoners allow readers to understand how indifference impedes the emotional health among oppressed individuals and open their eyes to the importance of opposing indifference within contemporary society. Next, the emotional suffering of the Jewish population within the novel opens readers’ eyes to the destruction of human oppression and the importance of combating indifference. Within the novel, the emotional trauma and stress resulting from the opression of the Holocaust is exemplified through Richard’s possession of post-traumatic stress disorder. After witnessing the gruesome hanging of multiple Jewish prisoners on scaffolds as a young boy, when Richard is finally returned to his mother, the novel states, “[…] after what he had seen of the scaffolds of Kraków-Płaszów and Auschwitz, his mother could never take him to a children’s playground without him growing hysterical at the sight of the swing frames”. The emotional trauma endured by Richard allows readers to recognize how oppression destroys the emotional well-being and development of individuals, as young Jewish prisoners were forced to witness horrific murders. As a whole, it is clear that Schindler’s List deserves to win the 2019 Richardson Book Award, as its portrayal of emotional suffering endured by Jews throughout the Holocaust opens readers eyes to the destructive nature of opression. Furthermore, the emotional trauma endured by the Jewish population throughout and after the Holocaust open readers’ eyes to the importance of opposing incivility within contemporary society, as it demonstrates the emotional impact of opression if it goes unchecked.

Schindler’s List deserves to win the 2019 Richardson Book Award, as its depiction of the physical devastation of the Jewish population within German concentration camps opens readers’ eyes to the destructive nature of oppression and the importance of opposing indifference. When reading Thomas Keneally’s novel, readers can comprehend how oppression destroys the physical wellbeing of individuals when the Jewish inhabitants of Germany were gruesomely hunted and killed. Within the novel, German commandants are described “bursting into the attic niches, the false ceilings, the crates in cellars, and finding Jews who all day had maintained a hopeful silence”. The text later indicates that “More than 4,000 such people were discovered overnight and executed in the streets”. Here, readers are able to comprehend the physical destruction that oppression causes, as thousands of individuals from the Jewish population were murdered in mass shootings throughout the Holocaust. Likewise, the vivid depiction of the pogroms against Jewish people in Germany allows readers to understand the human cost of oppression, holistically appreciate their modern freedom, and subsequently open their eyes to the importance of opposing destructive indifference. Next, the depiction of the physical devastation of Jewish prisoners during the Holocaust allows readers of Schindler’s List to open their eyes to the destruction of human oppression and the importance of combating indifference. Within the novel, physical self-harm resulting from destructive oppression is exemplified when the text describes, “When poor engineer Krautwirt saw the horror of the boy’s execution, he took a razor blade that he’d concealed in his pocket and slashed his wrists. Those prisoners at the front could tell that Krautwirt had injured himself fatally in both arms”. As a result of this mortal self-harm, readers can open their eyes to the destruction of oppression through its deadly impact, as prisoners are inclined to kill themselves rather than endure additional mutilation from the German commandants. Altogether, the vivid descriptions of the physical demolition of the Jewish people in Germany through mass shootings and self-harm allows readers to open their eyes to the destructive human cost of oppression and the importance of opposing destructive indifference in order to prevent future oppressive deaths.

Thomas Keneally’s novel titled Schindler’s List proves to be a serious candidate for the 2019 Richardson Book Award, as it’s depiction of the horrific despotism against Jews throughout the Holocaust opens readers’ eyes to the destructive nature of oppression and the importance of combating incivility within contemporary society. Within the novel, the representation of dehumanizing attitudes, subjugation, emotional damage and physical harm all contribute to the eye-opening understanding of catastrophic oppression and the vital need to oppose incivility. The destructive nature of oppression resulting from dehumanizing attitudes opens readers’ eyes as a result of the lack of identity afforded to the Jewish population and the animalistic treatment of Jewish prisoners. Next, the damaging temperament of opression resulting from the lack of liberty possessed by the Jews opens readers’ eyes due to the depiction of forced Jewish labour and lack of free speech within Germany. Thirdly, the destructive emotional damage endured by Jews throughout the Holocaust opens readers’ eyes through its description of the dreams of prisoners and their post-war apprehensions. Lastly, the understanding of the destructive nature of oppression resulting from physical devastation is realized through the lethal massacres of Jews, as well as the prisoners’ self-inflicted injuries. As a whole, Schindler’s Lists’s impactful tale of depotism against the Jewish population during the Holocaust opens readers’ eyes to the destructive essence of opression and subsequently forces individuals to reassess the human rights and freedoms afforded to them in modern society. The novel also open readers’ eyes to the importance of opposing incivility within contemporary society, as it demonstrates the catastrophic impact of oppression if individuals are not encouraged to prevent or speak out against indifference. To conclude, as the increasing presence of oppression develops around the world, novels like Schindler’s List are vital to read, as they allow individuals to sustain an awareness of the destruction of indifference and inspire readers to seek an end to racial hatred in contemporary society. 

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Schindler’s List By Thomas Keneally: The Eye-Opening Destruction Of Human Oppression. (2021, March 18). GradesFixer. Retrieved June 29, 2022, from https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/schindlers-list-by-thomas-keneally-the-eye-opening-destruction-of-human-oppression/
“Schindler’s List By Thomas Keneally: The Eye-Opening Destruction Of Human Oppression.” GradesFixer, 18 Mar. 2021, gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/schindlers-list-by-thomas-keneally-the-eye-opening-destruction-of-human-oppression/
Schindler’s List By Thomas Keneally: The Eye-Opening Destruction Of Human Oppression. [online]. Available at: <https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/schindlers-list-by-thomas-keneally-the-eye-opening-destruction-of-human-oppression/> [Accessed 29 Jun. 2022].
Schindler’s List By Thomas Keneally: The Eye-Opening Destruction Of Human Oppression [Internet]. GradesFixer. 2021 Mar 18 [cited 2022 Jun 29]. Available from: https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/schindlers-list-by-thomas-keneally-the-eye-opening-destruction-of-human-oppression/
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