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The Boy in the Striped Pajamas
Transcript of The Boy in the Striped Pajamas
- In the story "The Boy in the Striped Pajamas" Bruno and Shmuel are the protagonists because they are mostly mentioned in the book. The story is written from Bruno's view and so there is more dialogue between him and Shmuel. Bruno's innocence made him a kinder child, for example when he brought food for Shmuel everyday without knowing he was a Jew. Shmuel was a protagonist because he was friends with Bruno and helped him because he wouldn't let him into the camp and taught him about how he got there, his family, and Poland.
- The Furher (Hitler) is an antagonist because he's the one who created the concentration camps which led to the cause of Bruno and Shmeul's death. Lieutenant Kotler is an antagonist to Bruno and Shmuel because he made fun of Bruno and treated Shmuel badly. Gretel can also be called an antagonist because she always bossed and made fun of Bruno.
The Boy in the Striped Pajamas
by John Boyne
- Bruno's older sister who he dislikes and often called her a "Hopeless case". She is a snobby 12 year old who thinks she's maturer than she looks but she still enjoys playing with dolls.
- Bruno's mother who is very snobby and depends on their maid Maria a lot. She does have strong feelings against her husbands work in the concentration camps but she does not express it to him.
- Nazi commandant, he's always busy at work and doesn't spend much time with Bruno. He feels great pride in his job and was the reason for setting change from Berlin to Auschwitz.
- The family maid, her mother knew Bruno's father and he did a favour for her mother. She has been their maid since Bruno was little. She is a kind and quiet woman.
- He is a Jewish servant in their house. He is to obey orders and if not he would be punished. He is compassionate as shown in the scene when he cleaned up Bruno's knee when he fell.
Lieutenant Kurt Kotler
- A mean, strict nineteen year old that is in the military, Gretel often flirts with him. He watched over the house when Bruno's father wasn't there.
- He is Bruno and Gretel's teacher. He restricts Bruno from reading fictional books.
Innocence of childhood
. He’s just a kid and doesn’t understand the real reason why he had to move houses and therefore doesn't understand the change in setting. He thinks its about his father’s job but really Bruno is unaware that his father is a Nazi commandant and that his home is on the border of an Auschwitz concentration camp. He doesn’t understand who the people behind the barbed wire fence are and just thinks of it as a strange farm. Later in the book when he meets Shmuel, he still doesn't know why there are people in striped pajamas on the other side of the fence. Shmuel even tells him that the soldiers are bad but he refuses to think of his father as a bad person because he too is a soldier. To him, everyone is equal because he hasn't been influenced by racism. In fact, he even said he wanted to wear striped pajamas just like the other jews.
- Bruno is separated from his friend Shmuel. I think the fence is a symbol that shows the difference between both of their lives. They are also separated by the strict rules inherent in Nazi Germany which forbid Germans to be friends with Jews, Poles, and the other groups persecuted by Hitler. The setting relates to this theme because Auschwitz itself is a place that literally separates Jews from Germans.
There were many conflicts that Bruno faced in the book. The first one was moving to Auschwitz. For weeks Bruno complained about it and compared his new home to his old which made him very sad. This is an example of
man vs. fate
conflict. Bruno did not choose to move, it was out of his power and it had already been decided. There was nothing he could do in his power to stop the event.
man vs. setting
- During the course of the the whole book, Bruno has constantly had had conflict with the setting which is Auschwitz. (social setting) He has had trouble adjusting because he misses his old house in Berlin.
Another example of conflict in the book is
man vs. man
. Bruno faced a few characters in the book that he did not get along with such as Gretel, Lieutenant Kurt Kotler, and his father (antagonists). He constantly argues with his sister, he is picked on by the Lieutenant, and his father gets angry at him. Overall, there is a
man vs man
conflict between the Jews
and the Nazi because the Nazis treated the Jews extremely badly by putting them in the concentration camps and killing them.
His friendship with Shmuel causes the greatest conflict (
man vs. Society
) because it forced Bruno to stand up for what is right and for what he believes. For example Bruno felt bad when Kotler beats up Shmuel and promising him that he will never abandon him. To Bruno, It didn't matter if Shmuel was a jew, he just cared for him like a regular human being.
- It symbolizes the destruction from the Holocaust, and how it separated people. It also symbolized restraint because as much as Bruno wanted to explore what was behind the fence, he knew he had to obey his father otherwise he would get into trouble.
- This symbolized the separation of millions of jews who were put into the concentration camps. It also connects to the theme of boundaries because the pajamas where a way of separating jews and identifying them.
The story is told from a 9 year old Bruno's perspective. Bruno and his family move to Out-With (Auschwitz) because his father is a Nazi commandant at a Jewish concentration camp. To Bruno, Auschwitz is just another place where he has to live. As you read, you can watch his journey to uncovering the truth and see how far he goes.
- the main character, a nine year old boy, and son of a Nazi commandant. He is small, black haired, and healthy looking. He is very curious and enjoys exploring places. He is kind and compassionate and this is shown when he brings Shmuel food every day even though he is a Jew. He even says to him "We're not supposed to be friends, you and me. We're meant to be enemies. Did you know that?" The other characters in the book think that hes just a little boy who doesnt understand much. Shmuel, unlike the others thinks of him as a best friend.
- nine year old Polish Jew who is a prisoner in Auschwitz, and is also Bruno's only friend. He Is aware that Nazi's and Jews aren't to be friends, which shows how mature he is because he understands it. He is described to be a small, skinny boy with a shaved head. We can infer that his head was shaved by the Nazis. Although he has experienced the cruelty of the Nazi's he still has hope and hasn't given up yet. In the book, he assumes that his father went missing and trys to find him. He doesn't understand that his father was actually killed in the gas chamber.
*Both share the same birthday, which brings them together. *
The story takes place in Nazi, Germany during the early 1940's. This is an important part because it's what makes the story develop according to the time an place which is the Hitler government. It connects to the characters such as Bruno's father and the Lieutenant as it shows how they behaved based on the events taken place in their country. The setting of Auschwitz affects the characters mood as it is a horrifying place and it has an eery feel to it. The characters in turn feel glum and sad even if they don't understand the place completely. The setting connects to the theme of boundaries because the concentration camp literally separates the Jews from the Germans. The whole story revolves around the boundary between them and how just one small boy was able to break that barrier. The setting is basically the purpose of the conflicts that took place at that time. Without the rise in Hitler, Auschwitz would never had existed and there wouldn't have been so much hatred for Jews. The setting of the book influenced the characters feelings towards each other whether it be Germans hating Jews or Mother drifting away from her husband because of his support for the Nazis.