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Describe significant moments of prejudice in The Boy In The Striped Pyjamas.

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sallyboyle

Posted September 5, 2012 at 7:50 AM via web

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Describe significant moments of prejudice in The Boy In The Striped Pyjamas.

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

Posted September 5, 2012 at 10:40 AM (Answer #1)

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To a great extent, the entire focus of the novel is one of the perils of discrimination.  Significant moments of such a practice abound.  Consider how Bruno understands Pavel's predicament, once a doctor and now a servant.  Bruno perceives that Pavel is treated differently because of prejudice and discrimination.  Bruno also recognizes that Shmuel is treated differently because of prejudice and discrimination.  He understands that Shmuel's mistreatment is because he is different, because he is perceived as different.  When waiting to board a train, Bruno sees that the train that he is boarding is different than the train that the "other group" of people across from him is boarding.  The train they are boarding looks sadder and fundamentally more uncomfortable.  Even the ending of the novel, one in which Bruno walks hand in hand with Shmuel to the gas chamber is one of discrimination as Bruno, German as can be, is herded into the gas chamber.  Bruno never quite articulates the condition of prejudice and discrimination that drives the narrative.  However, he understands fully that there is a condition that mistreats particular people and in standing against it, Bruno is making a statement for all people in the narrative and those reading about it to stand in solidarity with him.

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