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From The Boy in the Striped Pajamas, what are Bruno's thoughts and understanding about...

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sajjad1476 | Student | Honors

Posted September 11, 2013 at 9:39 AM via web

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From The Boy in the Striped Pajamas, what are Bruno's thoughts and understanding about what he sees outside his window and what his father tells him?

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durbanville | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted September 11, 2013 at 4:56 PM (Answer #2)

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In The Boy in The Striped Pajamas, Bruno is an inquisitive boy, not at all impressed with his parents' decision to move out of Berlin to "Out-With". He can see out of his window what to him looks "desolate" and which Gretel, his sister, first thinks may be the countryside but, after consideration, they both decide that it is definitely not the countryside. Bruno and Gretel can see the people in the camp on the other side of a fence and, although it makes no sense, Gretel imagines they may be actors, busy with a rehearsal. Bruno is particularly interested in the fact that there are children - definitely scope for some friends. Gretel, however, is not impressed with the appearance of these children and thinks they are definitely not her "type."

Bruno persists in his interest and manages to gather enough courage to approach his father. His father's response foreshadows what will follow but Bruno, the innocent and ever obedient son, does not question his father, or the meaning of his father's words, although his answer is not what Bruno was looking for :

They’re not people at all...at least not as we understand the term....You have nothing
whatsoever in common with them. 

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mizzwillie | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Educator

Posted September 11, 2013 at 3:21 PM (Answer #1)

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When Bruno moves with his family from Berlin to Out-With, he is not very happy.  He knows that outside the house, the surrounding area is okay to explore, being a town which his father has been transferred to, except for the forbidden area which he must not go to, no exceptions. He is basically told that this town is just another place for the family to live.  Being a young boy of eight, Bruno wants to know everything about the area around his home, and being the curious boy that he is, he goes exploring.  Of course he goes to the forbidden area where he finds a fence with another young boy on the other side.   He, in his innocence, has discovered Auschwitz.  Since it is forbidden to be there, he tells no one in his family that he has been to the fence in the woods.  The story ends in tragedy.

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