Schindler's List | Study Guide

Thomas Keneally

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Course Hero. "Schindler's List Study Guide." May 11, 2017. Accessed January 20, 2019.


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Thomas Keneally

Year Published





Historical Fiction, War Literature

Perspective and Narrator

The events in Schindler's List are described by a third-person omniscient narrator, who allows the facts to unfold for readers who must bear witness to the events.


Schindler's List is written in the past tense.

About the Title

Schindler is the surname of Oskar Schindler, a German factory owner in Nazi-occupied Poland during World War II. Schindler relocates to Czechoslovakia to protect his Jewish workers from Nazi brutality. The names of about 1,100 Jewish workers appear on Schindler's list, enabling their survival during the war.

The text was first titled Schindler's Ark, referring to the ark of the covenant. In historical Judaism, the ark is an artifact that proves God's presence on Earth. The ark of the covenant, or agreement, symbolizes God's promises of protection to the Jews. This title, a metaphor, refers to the promises of safety Schindler makes to his workers. The title became Schindler's List upon release in the United States. The publisher worried the reference to the ark of the covenant would be misunderstood as a reference to the biblical Noah's ark, intended to save the creatures of Earth from a flood sent by God. Such an interpretation, comparing Jews to helpless animals, would be demeaning.


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