"The Painted Bird": The Monster that Lives in Us All Essay

1194 Words5 Pages
Jerzy Kosinski reveals the barbaric acts of civilians in times of war, showing how war changes our sheer humanity. Passed from village to village, he tells the tale of a small gypsy boy wandering without parents during World War II. The horrific tales of the people who took him in, paint a cruel picture of civilization. Was Jerzy Kosinski take on humanity realistic or erroneous? In the first couple weeks of World War II, a six-year-old boy from Eastern Europe was sent to a distant village by his parents. The foster mom that was found for him, died two months after his arrival. He was forced to move from house to house in the villages to survive. No one wanted to take him in because he looked like a gypsy. A man, passing through, was…show more content…
While Olga tended to a fishermen, angry villagers threw him into the river. The boy was carried downstream to another village.
Using survival skills Olga had taught him, the boy made his way through the wilderness, trying to seek shelter and find food. He was thrust into the miller's home, who never had a name. The miller ignored him, going about his work. As did his wife. They hired a plowboy who apparently had been flirting with his wife. His wife, a pushover, was beat often over the alleged affair. One night, when the miller got drunk, invited the plowboy to dinner. The plowboy stared a little too long at his wife, and after a heated fight, the miller dug the plowboy's eyes out with a spoon. The boy watched all of this, thinking it was all a dream. After cleaning up the mess, he went to bed and decided to leave the next morning. "I wondered whether the loss of one's sight would deprive a person also of the memory of everything that he had seen before. If so, the man would no longer be able to see even in his dreams. If not, if only the eyeless could still see through their memory, it would not be too bad. The world seemed to be pretty much the same everywhere, and even though people differed from one another, just as animals and trees did, one should know fairly well what they looked like after seeing them for years. I had lived only seven years, but I remembered a lot of things. When I closed my eyes, many details came back still more vividly. Who

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