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Comparing Night and The Pianist Essay

Example 1

The book, Night, and the movie, “The Pianist,” share many thematic similarities. Both stories have themes in which man is evil to man, the will of the main character to survive and overcome evil is present, and the ability of some people to still be compassionate to each other during these times of evil. In Night, Elie Wiesel, the narrator and main character, is sent to a Nazi concentration camp where many Jews were exterminated.

He also shows compassion towards his father and has an unbelievable will to survive. “The Pianist” is a little different. In it, the main character has to endure harsh treatment at the Warsaw Ghetto and after he is released, he goes into hiding in hope that he will survive the Holocaust and the war.


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One of the main thematic similarities between Night and “The Pianist” is that man can be so evil to other people. Both pieces take place during the Holocaust, where Nazis set out to kill all Jews in Europe, which was known as the Final Solution. Most people found it unbelievable that man can do something so evil to man. In Night, Elie is in a concentration camp called Auschwitz where 12,000 Jews were killed a day.

He had to endure very tough conditions during his stay there. In “The Pianist,” the main character is at first put into a Jewish Ghetto and later on, he must survive while in hiding from the Nazis. In both of the stories, the main conflict is due to a man versus man struggle.

Another theme that is included in both, Night and “The Pianist” is the will of the main character to survive and overcome the evil. Both characters overcome tremendous obstacles and their heart, will, and strength are tested to an unbelievable degree. In Night, Elie is sent to ghettoes, has to ride in packed cattle cars, is separated from his mother and sister, and has to endure tough conditions in the concentration camps.

 

Example 2

It is said to be true that the Holocaust was one of the most tragic and significant events in recorded history. Personal memoirs like Night by Elie Wiesel and The Pianist by Wladyslaw Szpilman gives vivid images and clear views on those epic catastrophes. which allows us as readers to acquire a better understanding of what really transpired during the 1340s. Elie Wiesel, the author of Night, wrote his book on a collection of personal experiences that moulded his life. He was about twelve years old when his entire world was turned upside down.

In the spring of 1944, the German army occupied Hungary (Night, Wiesel). A series of oppressive laws were forced on the Jews_the community leaders were arrested, Jevvish valuables were confiscated. and the entire Jewish population was forced to wear a yellow star, which told everyone else around them they were in fact Jewish (Night, Wiesel). Eventually. the Jews were confined to small ghettos. After days of facing starvation and disease, the Nazi’s and the Hungarian police herded the remaining Jews into cattle cars bound for the death camp, Auschwitz (Night, Wiesel).

Spending a huge portion of his life suffering through the hardships in the death camps, Elie experienced losses within himself. His innocence was stolen from him at such e young age and he was forced to from up at such a fast pace. He quoted, “They passed me by, one after another, my teachers, my friends, the others, and some of whom had once feared, some of Whom I found ridiculous, all those lives had shared for years. There they went, defeated in their bundles, their lives in tow, having left behind their homes. their childhood.

They passed by me like a beaten dog. with never a glance in my direction. They must have envied me,\” (Night, Wiesel). This statement, made at such a young age. symbolized terribly the conditions must have been Especially for that realization to be made my innocent twelve-year Loss of faith and innocence were common themes portrayed throughout Night. File and his family tried to fully rely on God during their rimes in the death camps, but in the midst of all the madness and cruelty keeping the faith became practically impossible. Oh, God. Lord of the Universe, take pity upon us… said, Wiesel.

Elie’s experience in the concentration camps eventually leads to his loss of faith because he decides that he cannot believe in a Cod who would allow such suffering (Night, Wiesel During the Holocaust, the world was blind to the horrors of what was really happening in Germany, personal memoirs like Night help readers create a better understanding of what really came to pass.

Another personal Holocaust memoir that validates a collective experience is The Pianist, by Wladyslaw Szpilman. Szpilman was a very talented pianist for the Polish Radio (The Pianist). Wladyslaw SpiIman and his family, along with all other Jews living in Warsaw, were forced to move into a “Jewish Warsaw Ghetto (The Pianist). Once all the Jews were confined within the ghetto, a wall was constructed to separate them from the rest of the city (The Pianist).

Szpilman managed to find work as a musician to support his family. One day, the Szpilman\’s set deported the death camps, but they are fooled about What is really coming their way (The A friend of the S7piIman family was a part of the police force that was directing the Jews to The trains, grabbed Wladek from the group and told him to run, separating him from his family forever (The Pianist). Szpilman spent the rest of his days in hiding, and also as a labourer in the ghetto.

The Pianist, the motif and theme of loss of faith and loss of identity are frequent in the novel and the movie. Wladek quoted, “Mother looked dreadful, although she was apparently fully in control of herself Her hair, once beautiful and always carefully tended, had hardly any colour left in it and it was hanging down in strands over her careworn wrinkled face.

The light in her black eyes seemed to have gone out, and a nervous twitch ran down from her right temple and over her cheek to her mouth. the ad never noticed it before, and it showed how distressed Mother was about the scene around us,” (IMDB). When he started this, it showed the readers how much of a strain the Holocaust was on everyone enduring it, That quote also symbolizes how WladeKs loss of identity picked in towards his mother.

The Pianist allowed readers or viewers to see the tragedies. as well as the plus sides and positives that you can get out of crisis’ like the Holocaust. Night and The Pianist serve as valuable sources of literary nonfiction that validate a collective experience by displaying the personal background of events that actually happened during the Holocaust, These memoirs portray the themes of loss of innocence, loss of faith and loss of identity helping the readers and viewers try to grasp what actually happened.

 

Example 3 – The Pianist: Study Guide

1. Wladyslaw Szpilman – a Polish pianist and classical composer that battled through life in Warsaw as a Jew.

2 Father – the father of Wladyslaw S7piIman; taught music lessons as a job.

3. Mother – the mother of Wladyslaw Szpilman; taught music lessons as a job.

4 Regina – the sister of Wladyslaw S7piIman; she had a job as a lawyer.

5. HaIina – the sister of Wladyslaw Szpilman; taught music lessons as a job 8 Henryk – the brother of Wladyslaw Szpilman; taught English as a job.

7.Majorek – delivers sacks of potatoes to the city daily while smuggling ammunition underneath them.

8, Czeslaw Lewicki a former colleague from the radio station; gives Wladyslaw Szpilman a bachelor flat to hide in.

9. Mrs. Malczewska – brings Wladyslaw Szpilman supplies while he hides.

10. Zbigniexw Jaworski – a former colleague from the radio station; allows Wladyslaw Szpilman to stay with him for a while.

11 Helena Lewicka – Mrs. Jaworsk*s sister-in-law; looked after Wladyslaw Szpilman when he was under ailment.

In 1934, Spielman tours Poland with IJS violinist, Bronislav Gimpel Writes a memoir about his journey of survival through the holocaust in Warsaw of 1945, shortly after World War IL In 1935, he joins Polish Radio, where he worked as a pianist performing classical and jazz music Resumes his job at Polish Radio in I g4S after the war has ended In 1931 he was a student of the prestigious Academy of Arts in Berlin, Germany, where he studied the piano Receives an award from the Polish Composers Union in 1955 for composing 40 songs for children.

In 1939, he was a celebrity and a featured soloist at the polish Radio Retires from touring in 1986 and devotes his life entirely to composing His compositions included orchestral works, piano pieces, but also music for films, as well as around SO songs, which were very popular in Poland Died July 6, 2000 When Wladyslaxny Szpilman Escapes Death I The police officer allows S7piIman, Henryk, and Father to live because just like Szpilman, he is a musician himself.

2 A police officer pulls Szpilman away from going aboard the train to his death and allows him to escape through the open gates of the compound that led to the streets. 0n the verge of death with the ailment, Helena Lewicka comes and takes care of Szpilman’s terrible condition, Which gradually recovered his health.

4, As a woman was beating down Szpilman\’s door and asked for the pass that he needed to live in the flat he was staying in, he pushed past the woman, ran down the stairs, reached the entrance, and ran out into the street. Journal Entry I 16 August 1942 The day had finally come around for my family and me to be carried out at the collecting centre, yet only Henryk and Halina were passed as still fit to work.

Soon, Father, Regina and were told to go back to the Once we had arrived, the building was surrounded and the sudden sound of a whistle in the yard raided our ears. At this point, there was no use in struggling anymore. I had done all possibly could to keep my loved ones and myself safe but there was no use in trying to anymore. Hopefully, at least Halina and Henryk would live better lives than the rest of us. The Germans have control of our fate now and it had obviously been that way from the outset. We on our clothes are quick as shouts and shots were broadcasted throughout the yard, urging everyone to hasten.

Mother had packed a small bundle with anything that could be of use, and then we scattered the stairs. From this point on I knew that our lives would be hanging from a branch of impetuous death. Once we had arrived at the Urnschlagplatz, it was still quite empty. People scurried around in search of any water that they could find. Decaying corpses blanketed the floor, encompassing the compound in a horrific aroma of death. Bereavement would soon be within our reach. As our lives slipped away from us, my family and settled down comfortably awaiting the arrival of the train gut then, as am waiting. cannot believe my eyes!

In the new group for resettlement ee Halina and Henryk! Alas, all have done to help protect part Of my family has gone to waste; had failed my family once again. Engulfed with grief, the train had finally arrived. My family and I made our over to the train when someone had called my name and grabbed me by the arm. cried out for Papa but all he did was wave goodbye to me Terrified by being separated from all of them, the police officer tells me to make a run for it tempestuously. rook a glance at the open compound leading to the streets and dashed towards them. I had escaped death yet again. Journal Entry 2 June 1+13

A couple of days ago, I had wondered whether or not the Germans were really going to come. My nerves boiled with the thought of them arriving. Sometimes wished they would have come as soon as possible. These torments were just too much for me to suffer any longer_was ar a Breaking point! That night had geared my way of suicide to hinging myself rather than jumping off of the balcony.

TO me, this death seemed easier, just a quiet and simple way to live this hell hole. Without turning on the light, scrutinized the room in search of something that could serve as a rope, and I finally had found one behind the bookshelf.

But then, at eleven on a Friday morning a few days later, as I was lying on the couch after an almost insomniac night. heard shots going off out in the street. I scurried to the window and was suddenly alarmed by the number of soldiers the flooded the entire width of the street. They shot chaotically at the cræjd that was trying to flee.

After a while, some SS trucks drove into and surrounded a large section of the street that just so happened to be the section where my building was standing as well, Groups and Groups of the Gestapo officers filed into all of the buildings in that section and brought men (Jews) out of them one by one.

They had entered my building too. On that note was sure that the Gestapo officers would find my hiding place and my life would be over with Before they made their way into my room, pushed a chair over to the bookshelf so that could reach the picture hook more easily, prepared the noose and walked over to the door to listen out for them.

The Germans’ shouts echoed on the staircase a couple of floors down Half an hour later everything had quieted down again looked out my window and was shocked in disbelief at what was going on, The blockade had been lifted and the SS trucks had driven away. The Germans had not come.

 

Example 4

The Holocaust is the name applied to the systematic state-sponsored persecution and genocide of the Jews of Europe and North Africa along with other groups during World War II by Nazi Germany and collaborators. “Early elements of the Holocaust include the Kristallnacht pogrom of the 8th and 9th November 1938 and the T-4 Euthanasia Program”, progressing to the later use of killing squads and extermination camps in a massive and centrally organized effort to exterminate every possible member of the populations targeted by the Nazis. The Jews of Europe were the main victims of the Holocaust in what the Nazis called the “Final Solution of the Jewish Question”.

He continues to pray to God—he prays not to become as cruel as Rabbi Eliahou’s son, for instance, and his vocabulary still reflects a kernel of faith in God. It seems that Eliezer, at his core, still maintains a kind of belief in God (Weisel).
The Pianist, a film by Roman Polanski, teaches its audience that a certain law of film–that a movie should have a proactive hero–doesn’t apply.

The Pianist is based on the memoir of Wladyslaw Szpilman, a noted Polish classical pianist who survived the Holocaust. He made it through, not because of his ability to fight, but because of a fortunate string of accidents. Szpilman spent the length of the war in various closets and sealed-off flats; at one point in the film, he sleeps cramped in a cold fireplace, wedged in by a bookcase next to some live ammo and mortar shells.

Wladyslaw has one strong characteristic. His solitude as a classical musician helps him–barely–to survive this nerve-racking isolation, particularly when he’s like a ghost haunting a cleared-out city. The word “heroism” has no meaning in such a deadly situation. The moral of The Pianist is “God wants us to survive. At least that’s what we have to tell ourselves” (The Pianist).

During the German blitz, Wladyslaw is recording Chopin for the Polish radio. A bomb blast breaks open the studio, signalling the arrival of the Nazis.

 

Example 5

It is said to be true that the Holocaust was one of the most tragic and significant events in recorded history. Personal memoirs like Night by Elie Wiesel and The Pianist by Wladyslaw Szpilman gives vivid images and clear views on those epic catastrophes, which allows us as readers to acquire a better understanding of what really transpired during the 1940s.

Elie Wiesel, the author of Night, wrote his book on a collection of personal experiences that moulded his life. He was about twelve years old when his entire world was turned upside down. In the spring of 1944, the German army occupied Hungary (Night, Wiesel).

A series of oppressive laws were forced on the Jews—the community leaders were arrested, Jewish valuables were confiscated, and the entire Jewish population was forced to wear a yellow star, which told everyone else around them they were in fact Jewish (Night, Wiesel). Eventually, the Jews were confined to small ghettos. After days of facing starvation and disease, the Nazi’s and the Hungarian police herded the remaining Jews into cattle cars bound for the death camp, Auschwitz (Night, Wiesel).

Spending a huge portion of his life suffering through the hardships in the death camps, Elie experienced losses within himself. His innocence was stolen from him at such a young age and he was forced to grow up at such a fast pace. He quoted, “They passed me by, one after another, my teachers, my friends, the others, and some of whom I had once feared, some of whom I found ridiculous, all those lives I had shared for years. There they went, defeated in their bundles, their lives in tow, having left behind their homes, their childhood.

They passed by me like a beaten dog, with never a glance in my direction. They must have envied me,” (Night, Wiesel). This statement, made at such a young age, symbolized how terrible the conditions must have been. Especially for that realization to be made by my innocent twelve-year-olds.

 

Example 6

The Holocaust is the name applied to the systematic state-sponsored persecution and genocide of the Jews of Europe and North Africa along with other groups during World War II by Nazi Germany and collaborators. “Early elements of the Holocaust include the Kristallnacht pogrom of the 8th and 9th November 1938 and the T-4 Euthanasia Program”, progressing to the later use of killing squads and extermination camps in a massive and centrally organized effort to exterminate every possible member of the populations targeted by the Nazis.

The Jews of Europe were the main victims of the Holocaust in what the Nazis called the “Final Solution of the Jewish Question”. The commonly used figure for the number of Jewish victims is six million, so much so that the phrase “six million” is now almost universally interpreted as referring to the Jewish victims of the Holocaust, though estimates by historians using, among other sources, records from the Nazi regime itself, range from five million to seven million (Duiker et al. 431-436). Both Elie Weisel’s novel Night and Roman Polanski’s film The Pianist play decisive roles in the portrayal of this horrid and brutal instance in world history.

Wiesel makes a distinction between the Holocaust victims’ control over their fate and their -control over their actions. He believes man does have control over his moral choices, even when faced with the extreme circumstances of the Holocaust. Although he empathizes with the Jews who behave brutally, killing each other over crusts of bread in their fight to survive, he does not condone their behaviour.

At the same time, one senses that Eliezer, and Wiesel, feel there are definite limits to the victims’ control over their fate. It would be disrespectful to those who died for ElieÐ’–or Wiesel himselfÐ’–to claim any credit for surviving. For this reason, Night chronicles and emphasizes the set of lucky circumstances that led to the survival of one among many. The memoir is filled with bizarre coincidences. Years after the Holocaust, Eliezer randomly meets the woman who gave him comfort in Buna. In Gleiwitz, Eliezer once again meets Juliek.

Eliezer’s teacher, Moshe the Beadle, somehow escapes the Nazis and returns to Sighet to convey to the town an unheeded warning. Perhaps the most bizarre coincidence of all is Eliezer’s survival. He is fortunate enough, on his arrival in Birkenau, to meet a man who tells him to lie about his age. Despite Eliezer’s small size, he does not succumb to cold or exhaustion and is not chosen in any of the selections, though many who are healthier than he is being sent to the gas chambers (Weisel 63-109).

In the novel, Eliezer says that the Holocaust “murdered his God,” and he often expresses the belief that God could not exist and permit the existence of the Holocaust ( Weisel 73). Elie Wiesel and Eliezer are not exactly the same, but Eliezer expresses, in most cases, the emotions that Wiesel felt at the time of the Holocaust. It is fair to say that Night contains a profound skepticism about God’s existence. Yet Eliezer is not enlightened by his rejection of God; instead, he is reduced to the shell of a person.

Likewise, Akiba Drummer, upon abandoning his faith, loses his will to live (Weisel 73). Wiesel seems to be suggesting that the events of the Holocaust prove that faith is a necessary element in human survival, because it preserves man, whether or not it is based in reality. Faith, Wiesel seems to say, enables hope, and it is always necessary for the prisoners to maintain hope, in order for them to maintain life.

Even when Eliezer claims to abandon God as an abstract idea, he remains incapable of abandoning his attachment to God as an everyday part of his life. He continues to pray to GodÐ’–he prays not to become as cruel as Rabbi Eliahou’s son, for instanceÐ’–and his vocabulary still reflects a kernel of faith in God. It seems that Eliezer, at his core, still maintains a kind of belief in God (Weisel).

The Pianist, a film by Roman Polanski, teaches its audience that a certain law of film–that a movie should have a proactive hero–doesn’t apply. The Pianist is based on the memoir of Wladyslaw Szpilman, a noted Polish classical pianist who survived the Holocaust. He made it through, not because of his ability to fight, but because of a fortunate string of accidents. Szpilman spent the length of the war in various closets and sealed-off flats; at one point in the film, he sleeps cramped in a cold fireplace, wedged in by a bookcase next to some live ammo and mortar shells.

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