- Term Papers and Free Essays

Theme From Schindler's List -Virtue

Essay by   •  January 5, 2011  •  440 Words (2 Pages)  •  1,413 Views

Essay Preview: Theme From Schindler's List -Virtue

Report this essay
Page 1 of 2


In the opening pages of Schindler's List, Keneally says explicitly that it is the story "of the pragmatic triumph of good over evil" and of the story of a man who is not "virtuous" in the customary sense. Writing about evil, he goes on to say, is fairly straightforward, but it is more risky and complex to write about virtue. The hero of the novel, Oskar Schindler, is complicated because he seems to be at once virtuous and immoral. Schindler is married but keeps house with his German mistress and maintains a long affair with his Polish secretary. He is outgoing and generous but has even greater personal indulgences, including good cigars and cognac. He excels in profiting from shady dealings, procuring goods from the black market and bribing officials, through which he saves his workers' lives. From the beginning of the novel, Schindler seems to treat the Jews he encounters with respect, but for a long time he seems oblivious to the cruelties they face, being more interested in his business than the political situation around him. Also, after the war, and after his heroic rescue of his Jewish workers, Schindler leads an unremarkable life: he does not do good works or act as a champion of the powerless, but rather he again cheats on his wife, spends money lavishly, fails at his business ventures, and bankrupts himself. Yet, he is honored by the Martyrs' and Heroes' Remembrance Authority (Yad Vashem) Museum in Israel and declared a "Righteous Person." Perhaps the most difficult and interesting question raised by Schindler's List is, in fact, in what way Oskar Schindler is considered a "Righteous Person." Is he righteous simply because of his actions? His motivations? His personality?

Throughout the book, Keneally draws attention to the difficult nature of virtue (again, seen most obviously in the character of Schindler), to the not-so-obvious



Download as:   txt (2.7 Kb)   pdf (56.4 Kb)   docx (9.4 Kb)  
Continue for 1 more page »
Only available on
Citation Generator

(2011, 01). Theme From Schindler's List -Virtue. Retrieved 01, 2011, from's-List-Virtue/28728.html

"Theme From Schindler's List -Virtue" 01 2011. 2011. 01 2011 <'s-List-Virtue/28728.html>.

"Theme From Schindler's List -Virtue.", 01 2011. Web. 01 2011. <'s-List-Virtue/28728.html>.

"Theme From Schindler's List -Virtue." 01, 2011. Accessed 01, 2011.'s-List-Virtue/28728.html.