How does Schindler change over the course of the movie Schindler's List? How are his values, opinions, and view of the world changed when he witnesses the holocaust?

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One could say that Schindler's moral journey involves gradually getting in touch with his basic humanity. As the film opens, he's just another wealthy German businessman, a loyal member of the Nazi Party. He's depicted as an incredibly selfish man, hobnobbing with the regime's corrupt functionaries as a means of...

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One could say that Schindler's moral journey involves gradually getting in touch with his basic humanity. As the film opens, he's just another wealthy German businessman, a loyal member of the Nazi Party. He's depicted as an incredibly selfish man, hobnobbing with the regime's corrupt functionaries as a means of obtaining lucrative work for his factories. Schindler is presented at the outset as only looking out for number one; the very idea of his risking his neck to save other people is simply unthinkable.

But over the course of the film, he begins to realize not just the full horrors of the Nazi regime, the true nature of its evil, but also the fact that he's lost touch with who he really is. Coming into regular contact with his Jewish workforce, members of a despised and persecuted minority, helps him to understand the fundamental unity of humankind beneath the superficial differences of race, culture, and religion. Through his daily interaction with Jews, Schindler's able to reject the grotesque caricature which the Nazis use to demonize them and justify their persecution and physical annihilation.

At the end of the film, when Schindler laments that he could've done more to save his Jewish workers, he's also expressing a nagging sense that his journey towards a fuller, more complete understanding of his fellow man has not yet run its course.

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Schindler begins the film as a typical (albeit cunning) businessman seeking to profit from the war. In the opening scenes, he lavishes bribes on Nazi officials, cheats on his wife, and openly consorts with the SS. He obviously enjoys his wealth and newfound status as director.

Schindler initially sees the Jews as a source of cheap labor and nothing more. Partly because of his relationship with Itzhak Stern and partly because of the indiscriminate violence that he witnesses, he begins to change, using his privileged position as a factory owner to save as many Jewish lives as possible. He does this by bribing SS members to redirect Jewish workers from Auschwitz to his own factories, where they will be safe from death. In doing so, he sacrifices his newfound fortune. Ironically, because of his callous and amoral past actions, many of the Nazis with whom he has formed friendships (such as Amon Göth) are unable to see through his deceptions.

Compare the Schindler of the opening scenes, who is primarily preoccupied with making money, to the Schindler of the closing scenes, who is wracked with guilt at not having saved more lives (even though he has saved thousands). Schindler's famous and moving speech at the end of the film ("I could have done more") is a testament to his moral growth.

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I believe the movie version of Oskar Schindler depicts him as a typical business man at the beginning, a manufacturer who sees the war as an opportunity for money-making. His life did not touch the lives of his workers. As the movie progresses, he is faced with one situation after another in which his morality is challenged, and gradually he understands he is connected with the people who are being systematically wiped out through torture and genocide. Pay particular attention to the one spot of color (the little girl's coat). How does he react? It's a symbol for how his "vision" is improving in terms of his fellow humans. Look for scenes where he is challenged and doesn't bend at first, but later sees a need for change.

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