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What is the most important event in The Boy in the Striped Pajamas?

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lorialbrick | Student, Grade 9 | eNotes Newbie

Posted October 28, 2011 at 7:14 AM via web

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What is the most important event in The Boy in the Striped Pajamas?

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

Posted October 28, 2011 at 8:46 AM (Answer #1)

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In my mind, the most important event in the novel is the moment when both boys enter the gas chamber.  It is significance for a variety of moments.  The friendship between Bruno and Shmuel is at its apex at this moment.  It shows how important both are to one another.  At the same time, it is important as it shows how friendship can transcend the temporal conditions that might limit it.  Bruno and Shmuel are loyal to one another, even though their social order tells them opposite.  Bruno does not waver in his commitment to his friend, even though the society tells him otherwise.  It is also significant because his innocence and pure way of looking at the world is both murdered and martyred simultaneously.  The idea that Bruno dies with his friend is a moment of intense horror and intense beauty.  It is difficult to find one instant that captures both extremes, but I believe it is an important moment that speaks to the power of the book.  There are many important instants in the book that speak to what it means to be human, but I think that the moment when both boys enter the gas chamber is one of the most powerful.

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cutypriness | Student | eNoter

Posted October 28, 2011 at 10:00 AM (Answer #2)

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There are a few:

- When Bruno + his family move to their new house and Bruno and Gretel both see the people on the other side of the fence

- When Bruno meets Shmuel for the first time at the fence 

And of course the ending!

Hope this helps :)

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tenzaisakuragi | Student, Grade 11 | eNoter

Posted November 16, 2011 at 8:10 PM (Answer #3)

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the 2 most important happenings here are": first is the day when they moved into their new house and when Bruno saw the camp. the other is the ending because it is the one and only way to show how children are so innocent that they risk their lives for their friendship and up to the end they were together, this clearly shows that frienship and life is mostly not about our problems but also life is about doing the things you think that are right and things right from your heart.

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