Just because two objects are similar doesn’t mean they are the same. This is a concept that is applied to various areas of knowledge such as mathematics, chemistry, physics and especially biology. In biology, when comparing two organisms you have to consider the amount of similarities and differences between both organisms to determine whether they correspond to the same category or in completely different ones. This idea is also applied when comparing literary works in which you have to determine if the amount of differences between them set both literary works distantly from each other. Yet, there could be some similarities between both stories that accomplish to maintain a strong relationship between them. This is the case of the novel The Boy in the Striped Pajamas and the short story “The Tenth Man”. Even though these texts are two literary works that focus on the Nazi Holocaust which took place at World War II, both stories tell the occurrence of the same event through opposite points of view which results in a clear distinction between them.
Although The Boy in the Striped Pajamas and “The Tenth Man” are essentially two different literary works, both stories are developed through the same historical context. In Fink’s short story “The Tenth Man”, certain emphasis is given to the Nazi Holocaust which was an event that took place during World War II. Moreover, it was an event that victimized specifically Jewish individuals. This is first demonstrated in the short story “The Tenth Man” when Chaim, a Jewish Carpenter, appeared in the lower part of the town where he once lived:
They watched him from above, from the cliff above the river, watched him plod along until, nearing the first houses of the lower town, he stopped and began to sing. First they thought he had gone mad, but then one of the smarter ones guessed that it was not a song, but a Jewish prayer with a plaintive melody, like the songs that could be heard on Friday evenings in the old days, coming from the hundred-year-old synagogue, which the Germans had burned down. The Synagogue was in the lower town; the whole lower town had always been Jewish – before the Germans came and during the occupation – and no one knew what it would be like, now that the Jews were gone. (Fink 1)
This fragment of the story illustrates that “The Tenth Man” is a literary work that took place over the course of World War II and as presented, it gives certain emphasis to the Nazi Holocaust which was an event that targeted specifically the Jewish group. Similarly, as presented in Boyne’s novel The Boy in the Striped Pajamas, the entire story line takes place during World War II, giving special importance to the Nazi Holocaust and to the individuals it victimized, underlining the Jewish group.
As shown previously, the short story “The Tenth Man” and the novel The Boy in the Striped Pajamas have the common quality that they are developed through the same historical context. However, both stories...