Date of publication: 2017-08-26 17:40
If someone had told us in 6995 that in our lifetime religious wars would rage on virtually every continent, that thousands of children would once again be dying of starvation, we would not have believed it. Or that racism and fanaticism would flourish once again, we would not have believed it. Nor would we have believed that there would be governments that would deprive a man like Lech Walesa of his freedom to travel merely because he dares to dissent. And he is not alone. Governments of the Right and of the Left go much further, subjecting those who dissent, writers, scientists, intellectuals, to torture and persecution. How to explain this defeat of memory?
Antwone Fisher, a navy man, is forced to see a psychiatrist after a violent outburst against a fellow crewman. During the course of treatment a painful past is revealed and a new hope begins.
The great historian Shimon Dubnov served as our guide and inspiration. Until the moment of his death he said over and over again to his companions in the Riga ghetto: "Yidden, shreibt un fershreibt" (Jews, write it all down). His words were heeded. Overnight, countless victims become chroniclers and historians in the ghettos, even in the death camps. Even members of the Sonderkommandos , those inmates forced to burn their fellow inmates' corpses before being burned in turn, left behind extraordinary documents. To testify became an obsession. They left us poems and letters, diaries and fragments of novels, some known throughout the world, others still unpublished.
The arrival of the naval officer at the conclusion of the narrative underscores these allegorical points. The officer embodies war and militaristic thinking, and as such, he is symbolically linked to the brutal Jack. The officer is also English and thus linked to the democratic side of the Cold War, which the novel vehemently defends. The implications of the officer's presence are provocative: Golding suggests that even a war waged in the name of civilization can reduce humanity to a state of barbarism. The ultimate scene of the novel, in which the boys weep with grief for the loss of their innocence, implicates contemporary readers in the boys' tragedy. The boys are representatives, however immature and untutored, of the wartime impulses of the period.
There are many lessons to be learned. The boys are not respecting Ralph. They are too impulsive: they create a fire that they cannot control. They burn the top of the island down. They do not keep track of their most vulnerable children they lose.
We thought it would be enough to tell of the tidal wave of hatred which broke over the Jewish people for men everywhere to decide once and for all to put an end to hatred of anyone who is "different" - whether black or white, Jew or Arab, Christian or Moslem - anyone whose orientation differs politically, philosophically, sexually. A naive undertaking? Of course. But not without a certain logic.
“[She] is rarely aided by the creatures she meets. Whereas in a tale of Grimms or Andersen or John Ruskin, the protagonist's meeting with a helpful bird or beast would signal his or her charity toward the world or nature” (Frey). In Alice in Wonderland, unlike other fairy tales, the story represents a child’s true progression through life. In real life, in the industrialized world, a child has to figure things out on her own.
And then too, the people around us refused to listen and even those who listened refused to believe and even those who believed could not comprehend. Of course they could not. Nobody could. The experience of the camps defies comprehension.
Let us remember Job who, having lost everything - his children, his friends, his possessions, and even his argument with God - still found the strength to begin again, to rebuild his life. Job was determined not to repudiate the creation, however imperfect, that God had entrusted to him.