Novel Study Essay

998 words - 4 pages

The book “Boy in the Striped Pyjamas” is positioned in 1943 or1944 (most particularly in Poland). The story receives its impetus when the slightly jejune Bruno and his parents move to Poland or Auschwitz (bordering Germany and Poland) by the injunction of the “Fury”. The family’s new quarters only boasts three floors and no other houses in the vicinity. As such, it is a clear relegation from their massive home in Berlin and an event with which leaves Bruno petulant.
Unbeknownst to Bruno, their home (mispronounced as “Out-With” to eliminate the presence of Auschwitz) was next to a concentration camp that Bruno and Gretel were unable to discern what was. In actuality, Bruno and Gretel’s ...view middle of the document...

As it appears, this was essentially German opinion at the time. Hence, why it was acceptable to admonish Jews and then perpetuate reprehensible wrongs against them.

Time and People

Circumstantial to the fable is the tumultuous Second World War and the Holocaust.
It is self-evident that this is a holocaust story given its referencing of Jews on the other side of a fence and yet the Second World War goes unacknowledged by the narration. Nonetheless, the First World War occurred occasionally in speech through the story.

“It makes me so proud to see you elevated to such a responsible position. Helping your country reclaim her pride after all the great crimes that were done to her. The punishments beyond-” (Bruno’s Grandfather on page 91)

“To get you head out of your storybooks and teach you more about where you come from. About the great wrongs that have been done to you.” (Herr Liszt on page 98)

However, the second quotation was rather ambivalent; both of these can be construed as the public opinion of the First World War and insinuating the presence of the Second. Bruno’s grandfather describes Ralf’s (Bruno’s father’s) duties as helping him redeem the countries pride. Whether Bruno’s grandfather was insinuating the Second World War or the Holocaust in his laudation of Ralf’s new duties are unclear. I would personally lean to the Second World War being the subject of Bruno’s grandfather’s pride as Her Liszt and him both use the word “great” to indicate the malediction and ignominy brought to Germany in the First World War.

Of course, Ralf’s duties were largely associable with Auschwitz, implying that the Second World War for the Germans included the Jews. Bruno’s grandfather was conceited by Ralf’s promotion to Commandant (which involved killing Jews).

What this shows is that the German public (as shown by two entirely different men) saw the Second World War as redemption,...

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