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In the novel, The Boy in the Striped Pajamas by John Boyne, how is Bruno innocent and...

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mattybrawn | Student, Grade 9 | eNotes Newbie

Posted September 11, 2012 at 8:42 AM via web

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In the novel, The Boy in the Striped Pajamas by John Boyne, how is Bruno innocent and naive?

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mizzwillie | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Educator

Posted September 11, 2012 at 1:24 PM (Answer #1)

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In the novel, The Boy in the Striped Pajamas, Bruno, the son of the Nazi commandant of Auschwitz, is both innocent and naive.  When his family moves from Berlin to "Out-With", Bruno explores his surroundings despite being told that certain areas were off limits.  When he innocently meets Shmuel, the Jewish boy inside the fence, Bruno talks with him and finds out that they have much in common.  Bruno returns often to visit Shmuel bringing him food and friendship.  When the "Fury" or Fuhrer come for dinner at his house, Bruno dislikes the man and his girlfriend, naively unaware that this is Adolph Hitler and Eva Braun.  His mother does try to protect his innocence, but cannot change where they live and what is around them.  When Shmuel worries that he cannot find his father, Bruno decides to cross the fence of evil and help his friend Shmuel.  Shmuel brings Bruno a set of pajamas which Bruno innocently puts on and the search begins.  Soldiers inside the fence gather the two boys with the group being sent to the gas chambers, and the two friends, naively waiting for the rain to stop, hold hands as friends.  "...Despite the chaos that followed, Bruno found that he was still holding Shmuel's hand in his own and nothing in the world would have persuaded him to let go." Bruno's death in the gas chamber is the death of ultimate innocence and the naive assumption that adults always have good intentions. 

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