Resilience in the Face of Oppression: Character Analysis in The Book Thief and The Movie Pan's Labyrinth

Resilience in the Face of Oppression: Character Analysis in The Book Thief and The Movie Pan's Labyrinth

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In the movie Pan's Labyrinth, Ofelia escaped the frightening and commanding presence of her stepfather though her fantasy books and her immense imagination. This theme of escape from oppression is also evidenced in the novel The Book Thief, where Max escapes his oppressive reality through writing and his friendship with Liesel. Liesel herself was able to escape the reality of the war that was around her, and the death of her brother through her love of books and reading. This may lead one to wonder whether there is some truth in these fictional tales, is it possible that books and the act of writing can help one to survive an oppressive situation psychologically, and what factors contribute to an individual overcoming oppression?
According to psychology, the ability of humans to adapt to negative life situations and withstand stress and adversity is centered in a concept called resilience. An individual with resilience may experience the stress and pain that oppression and adversity brings; however, they are better able to control their negative emotions, rather than allowing these emotions to control their thoughts and actions. Resilience is not something people are born with or without, it is a trait that is developed. However, there are causational factors that contribute to the development of resilience. A few of these factors are: Having at least one close friendship and or having a
close relationship with one's family. having high self efficacy, and feeling some perception of control over one's life. Being compassionate and actively helping others , having a special talent, holding religious beliefs, and having good social skills just to name a few factors (APA Resilience) (Belsky 208). Many of these are also factor...


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