As a child, we are focused on the small aspects of life. We worry about eating ice cream on a hot summer day or when we will get the opportunity to go out on a cold snowy day and go sled riding with our friends and drink hot chocolate. We are fully focused on such basic childlike desires that we are completely unaware of serious events happening around us or in this case right next-door. As a nine-year-old boy, Bruno has no idea that his father was running a mass concentration camp right next door to his house and exterminating Jews including his new friend Shmuel. Instead, Bruno acquired an irreproachable friendship due to his innocent way of thinking that allowed for him to ignore society’s prejudices against his Jewish friend Shmuel. This essay will provide information regarding the Holocaust and hash treatment of the Jews within the German concentration camp “Auschwitz”. This essay will then offer a brief summary of the events within The Boy in the Striped Pajamas by John Boyne. Finally, this essay will analyze the paradox of innocence depicted within the story, in order to explain how innocence supplied both disadvantages and advantages for Bruno and Shmuel. While this innocence led to the death of Bruno and Shmuel due to their ignorance of the dangers of the Holocaust, it also allowed for the boys to live their lives unaware of
John Boyne’s historical fable, The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas, is an optimistic narration of World War Two set in the “Out-With” concentration camp. In the background of the war, the story details the life of male protagonist Bruno, who befriends the unlikeliest of strangers in his attempt to adjust to life at Out-With. In Boyne’s portrayal of this dictatorship, the characters' go through life controlled by the notion of fear, only escaping its grasp through the most dramatic of circumstances. The didactic text paints a picture of how “we don’t have a choice” when we are being controlled by our fear (p.8). Thus,
“The Boy in the Stripped Pyjamas” reveals how belonging can enrich one’s interactions with people, places and communities. This would subsequently portray how acceptance and understanding may be obtained through the enrichment of belonging. The character of Bruno has been established to enable the viewer to view what is happening through the eyes of an eight-year-old whom through his innocence is confronting a different approach towards belonging.
In novels, the author creates a focus on a relationship - between enemies or friends, a parent and child, or husband and wife. In the two texts, The Book Thief, and The Boy in the Stripped Pyjamas this is a aspect that is featured in both, the relationship between children. The Book Thief focuses on the relationship between Liesel and Rudy, two of the characters. In The Boy in the Stripped Pyjamas the relationship that is focused on is between Bruno and Shmuel. The following paragraphs discuss the similar situations, and themes that connect the two relationships together.
Bruno once saw people getting forced into a truck and naively wondered where they were going and why they were getting forced. Bruno’s family moved from Berlin to Out-With because of Bruno’s father’s work. Bruno looked out of the window at his new house and saw his dad walk to the other side of the fence. Bruno thought it was a farm and wondered why some people wore striped pajamas and some a uniform. Out of curiosity, he started to explore and met a boy on the other side of the fence and began to meet with him almost everyday. He learnt that the people wearing pajamas were scared of the people wearing a uniform because they were always yelling. Bruno noticed his dad wore a uniform but thought he could never be a bad soldier, but Shmuel thought otherwise, “‘There aren’t any good soldiers,’ said Shmuel’” (P.140). Bruno has a biased opinion about his father because he trusted him. Bruno does not understand certain things about the Holocaust and he did not know that during the Holocaust there were no nice Nazi soldiers. Bruno and Shmuel had similarities, and when Bruno shaved his head, they looked almost identical except that Shmuel was bruised, very skinny and always sad, “Bruno was sure that he had never seen a skinnier or sadder boy in his life.” (P.107) Bruno could not understand why, as he did not understand what kind of life Shmuel lived on the other side of the fence. Bruno was ignorant about the Holocaust and when
The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas is a novel by John Boyne. This novel is set during World War 2 and explores themes such as prejudice, racism, war, innocence and friendship. What sets it apart from other novels is that it uses a third person limited point of view, and mostly depicts events as they are seen by a young and naïve boy. This was one of the main narrative conventions that engaged me in this novel.
John Boyne has created a sophisticated and meaningful novel in The Boy in the Striped
When he asks his father about who they are he responds by saying, “Those people...well, they’re not really people at all [...] You have nothing whatsoever in common with them” (53). This shows the characterization of the father and how his heartless personality is based on the way he described the Jews. Knowing that this novel is based on a true event in history adds a realistic quality to the father’s words. It is interesting how the author chose for the father character to hide the truth from his son, by providing a more simplistic explanation of the situation. The circumstances in the novel remind me of similar events that occurred during the civil rights movement. White children were simply taught that African Americans did not deserve the same rights. In this event in the novel, Bruno’s father is teaching him about how the Jewish should not even be categorized as
John Boyne has created a sophisticated and meaningful novel “The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas” through his portrayal of prejudice and discrimination. Throughout the text, he exposes society's perception, attitude and behavior towards different racial groups and people during the Holocaust in WW2. Bruno’s curious nature, captures the attention of the reader, and provides a platform from which to explore the atrocities of war. Bruno’s innocence shields him from the monstrosities of prejudice and discrimination, depicted by the attitude and behaviour of the people around him. In particular, Bruno bears witness to prejudice and discrimination propagated by Hitler, The Commandant and Lt Kotler.
Companions tie individuals in a power of profound devotion, common trust, comprehension and faithfulness. It is a common union in which individuals expect magnanimous support and inspiration from their companions. The bond can be in any case, only continue if the companions are there for each other despite how great or terrible the circumstances may be. True friends remain with you until the end. In John Boyne 's novel, The Boy In The Striped Pyjamas, set amid World War II, takes after the excursion of Bruno an average nine-year-old German kid who moves to Auschwitz because of his father’s employment as a Nazi commandant. In Auschwitz, Bruno becomes a close acquaintance with a kid named Shmuel, who is an
The boy in in the striped pyjamas is based in world war two were Germans were against Jews. For example it is shown when Bruno’s Father (The Commandant) talks about Jews while Bruno was talking to his father he asked a very interesting question. Who are those people outside my window? His father replies ‘Ah those people……Well they are no people at all (Pg.31). Ralf is saying Jews are not real and they are not people at all. This highlights that Bruno’s father (Ralf) has no respect or consideration for Jews and treats them really badly. This example shows Prejudice and Discrimination towards Jews the storyline held/set in World War 2 when Discrimination was utilized as a weapon. For the Nazi’s were led to believe, from Hitler (their leader depicted in the novel under several names including fury) that it is normal and ok to discriminate against the Jews because they believed that they weren’t people at all.. There for this is one of the many examples of Discrimination against the Jews in World War 2 and John Boyne as shone throughout the novel, the links to what the soldiers did to the Jews throughout World War
Children’s innocence and unconditional love for their parents often unleash terror and abuse. It is impossible not to perceive the author’s hidden parallels: the nation’s that blindly follow their “chosen one” without questioning his decisions and true motifs march to imminent doom. Bruno comes to terms with his new life rather briskly and is perfectly willing to go on as long as he has a pleasant distraction - Shmuel - in his life. He instinctively avoids the question that can expose the horrors of his “best friend’s” existence or his father’s true nature. Even after witnessing the sad reality of the concentration camp with his own eyes, Bruno walks into the gas chamber with an unshakable thought that “... Father was the commandant, and if this was the kind of thing that he wanted the people to do then it must be all right” (Boyne 210). This very school of thought has been luring people into senseless wars and self-ruin from the beginning of time.
John Boyne's book "The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas" invites the readers to embark on an imaginative journey at two levels. At the first level, Boyne himself embarks upon an imaginative journey that explores a possible scenario in relation to Auschwitz. Bruno is a 9 year old boy growing up in a loving, but typically authoritarian German family in the 1930?s. His father is a
Nelson Mandela once said, ‘no one is born hating another person because of the colour of his skin, or his background or his religion. People learn to hate….’ And such is perhaps the most imperative message of John Boyne’s hit novel, The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas. Ultimately, Boyne’s construction of characters, specifically that of the central character, Bruno and those around him, are a gradual emphasis of the concept that hatred is a learned practice, not the natural state of humanity, and that it is innocence and compassion that will bring unity and equality to the human race.
“The Boy In the Striped Pyjamas” by John Boyne gives an insight to the holocaust and the rule of Nazi Germany in WW2, Boyne’s novel demonstrates Friendship through protagonist Bruno. Boyne writes about the an inhumane period, even if his book is a fable it still is based on the hardship that the jewish people suffered during this dark time. Throughout the Novel Bruno’s perspective on Friendship changes, he realises that you shouldn’t judge a friend by there appearance. The characters show intricate acts of friendship for life, friendship between young and old. Mateship between four “best friends for life” (karl, Daniel, Martin and Bruno) and the protagonist, Bruno, “crossing the fence” by entering an concentration and extermination camp for his jewish friend, Shmuel. The book is set on the German Polish border in about the year 1942 in the middle of Nazi Germany.