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What did Lieutenant Kotler do to Pavel after he spilled the wine in his lap?
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High School Teacher
In The Boy with The Striped Pajamas, by John Boyne, Pavel is an old man, a doctor, who is now a servant in the house of Bruno's father. Despite his medical skill, he must remain quiet and subservient, since he is also a Jew, and so considered of a lower class, and unworthy of attention.
In Chapter 13, near the end, Pavel accidentally spills wine on Lt. Kotler, a Nazi guard who thinks of himself as important. In his fury at being shamed by the spill, Kotler drags Pavel out of the room and beats him; it is probably, though not stated in the text, that Pavel died from the beatings. The serving girl Maria cleans up the mess in the kitchen.
The beating gives Bruno cause to question what he has seen at Camp Auschwitz; although he is slowly coming to the conclusion that there are evil things happening, he had never directly associated them with the people he knew directly. Since a running theme in the book is Bruno's love of his father, and his unwillingness to understand that his father is involved in evil deeds, the violence of Kotler -- while his father says and does nothing -- allows him to understand that allowing evil to happen is just as bad as committing it. However, the violence of the beating also leads Bruno to resolve to not get involved, in fear of retribution, unconsciously mimicking his father's behavior.
Posted by belarafon on January 8, 2012 at 9:28 AM (Answer #1)
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