Schindler's List by Thomas Keneally: Character identity conflict/How does this book provide inspiration for hope in modern times? (Also recieved an A in an 11th grade AP Lit. and Comp. class.)

Essay by servantsimonUniversity, Master'sA+, May 2004

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In the book, 'Schindler's List,' identity conflict is central to the story of the main character, Oscar Schindler.

Oscar Schindler is a member of the Nazi Party, a war profiteer. At the beginning of the book, Schindler seems cool and slick; he is a womanizer, he drinks, but seems to never get drunk, and has a plethera of friends in high places.

Because of the war, Schindler has moved to the city to try his hand at business once again. He decides to open his factory in a forced labour camp for Jews, to save money and increase profits.

However, as the book progresses Schindler witnesses the brutality of the Germans, to which he has thus far chosen to be impervious, through the eyes of his Jewish accountant, Itzak Stern. He also sees the injustice of his own actions as well as those of his political party when he forms a convenient friendship with the camp commandant, Amon Goeth.

Schindler soon finds himself performing favours for his Jewish workers, and befriending his accountant, Stern, and Goeth's abused maid, Lina.

Schindler has, by this point in the book, found himself in conflict with every fiber of his identity; both his up-bringing as a German, and his adulthood as a member of the Nazi Party and a prominent figure in German society. When he learns that the camp is to be closed and his workers sent to Aushwitz, his conscience conflicts with his natural tenacity as a business man and his preferred self-image as an apathetic war profiteer.

Even so, Schindler cannot ignore the truth, which has slowly transformed him, and he chooses to buy both a new factory in Czecheslovakia as well as 1,100 of his workers. He attains permission for this operation by deciding to...