Worlds Colliding

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Something to Fight For March 24, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — meg3212 @ 8:26 pm

After reading Elie Wiesel’s, Night,  I thought about what carried Elie through those terrible times in the concentration camps.  Throughout the book, he wrote about his faith andhow it, for the most part, carried him through the events of the Holocaust.  Sometimes, he questioned his faith, and sometimes it was what got him through the days. 

I began to wonder if there is any relation to the current war in Iraq.  I wondered if there are soldiers from the United States that share the same strength to get them through the war?  Or, if it is something else, like their family, friends, or pride for their country? 

I found a letter from a New England soldier who was recently killed in the war on his first day back from leave.  His mother shared his letter, in which her son expressed why he was a soldier and where his source of strength came from.  He wrote,

“I am not a robot. i am not blind or ignorant to the state of the world or the implications of the “war on terrorism.” i know that our leaders have made mistakes in the handling of a very sensitive situation, but do not for one second think that you can make me lose faith in what we, meaning America’s sons, daughters, fathers, and mothers in uniform are doing.”

I thought that this part of this letter expressed his desire to serve in the military.  This excerpt gave me a sense of purpose for this soldier, and that he truly beleived that he was there for a reason, and that is what got him through the days overseas at war.

He goes on to say that, 

“I am a proud American. I believe that my country allows me to live my life more or less however I want to, and believe me, I have seen what the alternative of that looks like.”

Lastly, this part of his letter informs me that he is there fighting for a reason.  If soldiers fighting in the Iraq War did not have solid reasons for being there, then they would feel lost, used and meaningless.  Bringing this back to Night, I believe that Elie must have had some of those similar strengths to believe that he was going to survive this battle, even though he was a victim of the concentration camps.  It was still important for him to have something to fight for. 

Slain Beverly Soldier Explained Why He Served, October 17, 2008: 

Elie Weisel, Night


The Impact of a Graphic Novel

Filed under: Uncategorized — meg3212 @ 7:52 pm

Our class read the graphic novel, Maus, recently.  I thought that the book was very interesting in how it portrayed the story of the Holocaust.  This book was different than any other book that I have read about the Holocaust.  First, it was in all comical drawings, with the Jews being mice, the Nazis being cats.    At first, I questioned the seriousness of this book.  I did not think that a graphic novel could properly describe the events that occured during that time.  However, after reading it, I was very surprised at how my view and opinions changed.  I thought that this book was so interesting because even though you were reading a comic book about the Holocaust, I was still able to take the characters and the storyline seriously.  I found myself forgetting that the book was a comic, rather than a meaningful story. 

In fact, I believe that the comics and the general look of all of the characters allowed me to put my own thoughts on what was happeneing.  the book opened itself up to more imagination, in my opinion.  The pictures throughout the book were sometimes very simple and ordinary, which allowed me to put my own thoughts and ideas into the story. 

This sort of book made me think about how this terrible event, depicted as a cartoon with mice and cats, could make such a huge impact on me and others.  I wondered if other serious events or wars could be depicted in this same fashion?  I believe that the reason this book was such a success was because there is a big enough gap between the events of the Holocaust and my generation.  For example, I do not think that people in today’s society could handle a graphic novel about the War in Iraq, or maybe even the Vietnam War.  In a recent article in the New York Times, an article talks about a suicide bomber who killed 33 people in Baghdad.  My question is, can the events that we are reading about right now, like the article in the NYT,  be made into a graphic novel someday down the road?  I believe that if the story of the Holocaust can be made into a graphic novel, then it is not impossible for another serious event, like the Iraq War or Vietnam War, to be made into a graphic novel, like Maus.   The key is to have the right timing.  If an author decided to make a comic about today’s war, then it would be completely inappropriate and disturbing.  People would not relate to it and it would not create an impact, as Maus does in our generation. 

Art Speigelman, Maus

Alissa Rubin, Marc Santora, Bomber Kills Dozens in Iraq as Fears of New Violence Rise, March 10, 2009:


Remembering the Holocaust March 23, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — meg3212 @ 10:00 pm

After we watched the documentaries about the Holocaust, I was curious about the different ways the general public views or is educated about this horrific event.  Personally, I have seen a few films that deal with the holocaust, some as documentaries, some as Hollywood films.  Like any movie, there is usually a general message that the audience gains after viewing the film.  Even after we watched the wordless, sometimes even  silent film by Alfred Hitchcock, I still gained a different perspective or feeling toward the holocaust, that I did not have before. 

I thought it was interesting that a film that is using reels of footage, with no words spoken can have a very powerful impact on a person.  It made me think of all of the various styles of films that portray the story of the holocaust, and how even today, there are big Hollywood movies being made to show the history of that time.

The question that I am asking is, can a person become educated through a hollywood film of the holocaust?  Or, should a person be referring to only documentaries, like the Alfred Hitchcock film, we viewed in class? In a history class, we are debating this very issue; Do Hollywood filmmakers have a responsibility to create a fully accurate and authentic film about the holocaust?  Since Hollywood firms often mix fact and fiction, some are quick to criticize the true history behind the movie. 

In an article, Good Germans and Uplifting Uprisings: Hollywood’s take on the Holocaust, Ben Crair analyzes all of the past and very recent films that share the central theme of the holocaust.  Just in the last year, there have been several movies that attempt to tell the history in different ways of the event.  For instance, there was, The Reader, Valkyrie, Defiance, The Boy in the Striped Pajamas, Good, and Adam Resurrected.   Although they all share the same theme, do they all send a powerful message about the holocaust, the same way Alfred Hitchcock’s documentary did? 

The documentary by Hitchcock, was so drastically different than any other film or documentary I’ve seen, and somehow it made more of an impact on me, than any other film.  I believe that the lack of dialogue forced me to think about the images more in depth.  Even though there was a narrator, most of the time, I was reflecting on what I saw, and was able to take it in on a deeper level.

Ben Crair,