THE BOY IN THE STRIPED PYJAMAS ASSIGNMENT "Of course ail this happened a long time ago and nothing like that could ever happen again. Not in this day and age." The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas was set in Nazi Germany and OutWith(Auschwitz) in Poland. In 1933, when the Nazis started invading all of Europe, concentration camps were declared legal to exterminate the inferior races of Europe…
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To be more explicit: life in Berlin and life in Poland. So settings might seem off as the writer of this paper has concentrated on Berlin and Auschwitz though they are interchanged in the book. The family characters are explained as if they hadn't left Berlin. Once they are in "OutWith", they each go through a major change in life. Bruno, a nine year old boy who knows nothing of the outside world, is the main character of the story. He has the quality of always telling the truth, being sincere, respecting adults, and never interrupting. His one goal in life is to be an explorer. This will be significant towards the end of the story. A parallel can be drawn from his life in Berlin, that he is a little soldier, he does as he is told without questioning why. He does not think, he just does. "Just settle into your new home and be good, that's all I ask. Accept the situation in which you find yourself and everything will be so much easier." (p53) His father is talking to him about his new house but his father could be any father in the camp talking to his child: the futility of the situation. A common idea goes through the book. Bruno is not happy to be leaving their house. His mother explains "Your father's job, you know how important it is don't you?' (p 3) Father is a very important man because the '"Fury" has something very important in mind for him.' (p 5,p50,) Bruno is not allowed in his office and must always follow orders. He is never touched or hugged. When father is given the new uniform, and is to be called Commandant, he becomes even more important and distant. He makes Bruno salute him as he raised without any physical contact. 'This is my important work. Important to the Fury.' (p 48) They were to stay in OutWith for the foreseable future. Mother spends her time supporting her husband's career. She entertains soldiers and even has the pleasure (sarcasm) of having a party for the "Fury" and the "Blond Lady". She is kind to the children and tries to explain that they should be proud of their father for all the work he does for the country. Little and little the reader sees how she doesn't like the fanatism of her husband. "Pavel, if the commandant asks who cleaned up Bruno's wound, we will say I did it" (p 85) Gretel is his sister who is two years older. She is the "Hopeless Case". Her personality in Berlin is a young adolescent who still likes playing with dolls. In their new home. When she walks in on Bruno and Maria, she shows a sign of being jealous and treats Maria with disrespect by dictating that she draws her a bath. "Why can't you draw yourself a bath? Because she is the maid and that is what she is here for.(p 82) She develops into a cold and heartless 13 year old who studies the movement of the German troops across Europe. Of all the characters she rapidly becomes a Nazi. Gretel is upset about having come to Auschwitz. She is lonely and the reader sees her playing with her dolls. In making friends with Lieutenant Kotler, she pretends she is older than she is and the Lieutenant becomes interested in her. When he loses interest, and she finds she has nothing to do, she gets rid of her dolls and starts analysing the German European advances by putting up map all across her room. Do her dolls
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