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Chapter 10 of The Boy in the Striped Pajamas is very significant as it describes the first meeting of Bruno and Shmuel. Bruno is not allowed to explore and it was made quite clear to him that he must stay away from the fence "Without Exception." Bruno is surprised at how endless the fence is, with no doors "to let him in." When he spots a "dot that became a speck..." and eventually realises that it is a boy, he reflects that " he had never seen a skinnier or sadder boy in his life."
As the boys start to talk they consider each others' names and discover that they share a birthday- 15 August 1934. Bruno is excited and ironically says "We're like twins." Bruno is surprised that, if Shmuel is not German but Polish, he speaks German and when Shmuel tells him he will eventually learn English, Bruno wonders why that is so important when German is better as "We're superior"- something he has heard his father say. Bruno can sense that that doesn't "sound quite right to him" and he changes the subject.
Bruno is surprised to learn that he is in Poland as he had no idea and reminisces about Berlin "before things changed." The boys discuss their "friends," Bruno being a little jealous that Shmuel must have so many friends on his "side of the fence." Bruno tells Shmuel that he wants to be an explorer when he grows up. His recent exploring has led him to Shmuel who is minding his "own business, waiting to be discovered. Like America." There is a pressing question that Bruno just has to ask because he is still baffled about the people on "that side of the fence" and especially "What are you all doing there?"
The Chapter 10 detailed summary starts off:
Bruno walks along the fence for the better part of an hour. He does not see anyone or any opening that will allow him to cross over to the other side. Just when he is about to turn back, he spies a boy sitting in the dirt on the other side of the fence, “minding his own business, waiting to be discovered.” Cautiously, Bruno approaches him and says hello.
The rest of the detailed of Chapter 10 can be found on our very own enotes.com study guide for 'The Boy in the Striped Pajamas'.
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