Comparative Analysis of the Subjective Picture of the Holocaust presented in John Boyne's The Boy with the Striped Pyjamas with the Objective Approach in Hannah Arendt's Eichmann in Jerusalem: The Banality of EvilAleksandra Žnuderl
, 2016, magistrsko delo/naloga
Opis: The aim of my research is to compare two literary representations of the Holocaust during the Second World War, one for children and one for adults. I focused on Hannah Arendt's work Eichmann in Jerusalem, and John Boyne's novel The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas. As far as the topic is concerned, the Holocaust is their common ground, but the perspective from which the works are narrated is diverse. Arendt, on one hand, decided to report on Eichmann's trial as an objective reporter, while Boyne portrays the Holocaust from a child's perspective.
Arendt proves her objectivity with truthfulness and factuality, by using testimony from the trial, citations and actual dates. Fearing that the reader could misunderstand her message–and because of Eichmann's incapability of thinking and speech, his inept compound of clichés, stock phrases and officialise–she comments on it herself and joins the story. She invites the reader to become part of the story, to judge and to evaluate it. With her commentaries of the omniscient narrator, who views the action from all standpoints, she incessantly guides him so that her story cannot be given a different meaning from the one she presents. Her language is complex and sometimes difficult to understand. The choice of stylistic devices demands an experienced reader, since there are numerous facts, people and events, but also her comments, being very direct, are difficult to follow. Her complex, abstract thinking, citations, use of foreign words, clichés, allusions and intricate metaphoric language reveal the reality of the Holocaust, but with her hidden subjective commenting, which creates irony.
In contrast to Arendt, Boyne's naïve narrator introduces the Holocaust through a child's perspective, who is, because of his incomprehension of facts, ignorant of the truth. The truth is hidden from him because of his age and circumstances around him. To protect the young reader against the cruel truth of Auschwitz and the fact that this story is fiction, the author uses the naïve interpreter to present the Holocaust; this serves as a basis for hiding, using, for example, ellipses because of unspoken insults, misconceived or incorrectly pronounced words. The protagonist's spontaneous, naïve thinking and his vivid imagination appear in the simplicity of his language: in concrete nouns, which are mostly pre- or post-modified, with a vivid palette of imageries, onomatopoeia, simple sentence structure, full of questions and question tags. Simple, logical and clear metaphorical language is a demonstration of an authentic child's emotions, which the reader utterly trusts. With the revelation of his personality, presentation of his inner emotions and with the simplicity and vividness of the language, the reader draws near to the main character and identifies with him. Bruno is seduced by his will to explore the new vicinity and his friend's love. Because of his ignorance and childish naïveté on one hand and the cruel truth on the other side, his story ends. Although the protagonist's death is not even mentioned, the reader is indirectly exposed to the cruel closure of the novel.
Ključne besede: Holocaust literature, Hannah Arendt, Eichmann in Jerusalem, John Boyne, The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas, objective approach, subjective approach
Objavljeno: 05.10.2016; Ogledov: 444; Prenosov: 54
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