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The Boy in the Striped Pajamas

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Hannah Prezioso

on 7 March 2014

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Transcript of The Boy in the Striped Pajamas

The central idea expressed throughout the book is that friendship has no boundaries. Bruno is German and Shmuel is Jewish. They shouldn't even be friends due to the Nazis beliefs towards Jewish people, but the boys are naive and continue to interact every day.
The universal theme of The Boy in the striped pajamas is that conflict results in change. The main conflict in this book is the Nazis views on Jewish people. Many Jews, along with a boy named Shmuel, were sent to concentration camps. They were to have no contact with anyone that was German besides the soldiers. Shmuel and Bruno disobeyed this rule and continued with their close friendship. This changed how Bruno viewed his father's, and many other peoples' beliefs towards Jews.
Universal Theme
Relevant Information
The novel, The Boy in the Striped Pajamas, is set in the time period of 1942 in Germany. This was when the Holocaust took place. Many Jewish people were sent to concentration camps and many died from illness or murder in the gas chambers. Bruno is oblivious to the terrible things that happen on the other side of the fence where Shmuel is.
Key Scene
A key scene in this book is the 19th chapter where Bruno snuck into the concentration camp. Not long after Bruno entered the camp, him and Shmuel, along with dozens of other men, were piled into a room for a "shower." The two boys were extremely scared so they held eachother's hand knowing they would have the comfort of their best friend as they died together in the gas chamber. This shows that their friendship was extremely important to both of them and their connection was so strong, they didn't care how many rules they had to break to be together.

I believe the author had two purposes in writing The Boy in the Striped Pajamas. He wrote it to entertain his readers with a story about two boys with a forbidden friendship. He also wrote it to inform his readers of events that happened during the Holocaust.
By John Boyne
The Boy in the Striped Pajamas
The author uses characterization to show what each character is like. He describes Bruno as an adventurous nine year old yet still naive. Shmuel is the same age as Bruno and although he is still confused as to where he is and why he is there, he knows his home isn't as glorious as Bruno thinks it is. The boys have many things in common and become very close friends. They don't care if they are breaking the rules, they continue to be friends. This further explains the central idea of the book.

Bruno and Shmuel meet at the same spot every afternoon to communicate with eachother. This is the only interaction they have with each other until Bruno sneaks into the camp.
Point of view
The point of view of this book is third person limited because it is from Bruno's perspective and it only shows his personal thoughts. The author only uses "I" statements when the characters are talking.
1. Why were Bruno and Shmuel forbidden to be friends?

2. Would you still be friends with someone even if your whole family disaproved of people like them?
Full transcript