1. What is a pacifist? Are the Amish shown as pacifists? Describe a scene where their point of view is clearly demonstrated.
A pacifist is a person who believes in pacifism or is opposed to war or violence of any kind. The Amish don’t consider themselves as pacifists, but they are committed to peace as a lifestyle and do not associate with violence including angry words or going to law. This can clearly be demonstrated in the film “The Witness” when Hochleitner is harassed by local punks who defile Amish culture and he is unable to retaliate.
2. How do the Amish seem to settle conflicts or disputes? How is this different to the way John Book does things?
The Amish community tend to avoid all conflicts and disputes by separating themselves from the communities that surround them. They refuse military service and have a policy on ‘non-resistance’, which means that when governments instruct them to do things against their faith, they refuse to do them, but accept the consequences of their refusal without argument. Their actions are very contradictive to those of John Book, who is from a Westernised community and often settles conflicts and disputes with violence and force.
3. What role do the Amish play in helping John Book capture Schaeffer at the end?
John Book is able to use Samuel’s lessons about the silo; he is able to trick Fergie into entering the silo, and then releases a cascade of corn which eventually leads to his death. Soon after Samuel is able to ring the bell on his farm, alerting their Amish neighbours that help is needed. Finally a crazed Schaeffer threatens to shoot Rachel, Book surrenders to him. At that moment, a large number of Amish arrive at the Lapp farm in response to the bell and at this point Schaeffer realises that he has lost and surrenders to Book.
Conformity and nonconformity
4. A conformist goes along with what the majority of society wants. The Amish expect everyone in their society to...