In the book The Boy and the Striped Pajamas, what are some of Bruno's older sister Gretel's characteristics?

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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Gretel is a character caught up in the Nazi propaganda that was so prevalent during the time period.  She is an adolescent girl, which means that her maturation convinces her to be enamored with the prestige of the Nazis and a particular infatuation with Nazi men of uniform.  This helps to create her as a "hopeless case," in Bruno's eyes. Gretel understands the need to be socially accepted and, as a result, she embraces the Nazi rise to power.  Gretel is not depicted as one who fully idolizes the ideology of the Nazis, but is in love with the social respect that the Nazis carry.  When she "posterizes" her room with Nazi propaganda, it reflects her desire to be a part of the "in" crowd.  Her infatuation with Hitler as well as other Nazi guards reflect this desire to seek social acceptance.

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