In The Boy in the Striped Pajamas, how is Pavel's treatment of Bruno when he falls from the tire swing different from the way Pavel is treated by Bruno's family?

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gmuss25 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In Chapter 7, Bruno falls from his tire swing, and Pavel runs outside to see if he is alright. Pavel shows Bruno kindness by carrying him inside and cleaning his wound. While Pavel is bandaging Bruno's knee, he calms Bruno by telling him that his cut is not so bad and will heal on its own. Pavel is gentle and caring towards Bruno after the accident. In contrast, Pavel is treated with contempt by Bruno's family and the rest of the Nazi guards. Pavel is a Jew, and Jews are viewed negatively by the Germans. After Pavel bandages Bruno's knee, Bruno's mother tells him to say she was the one who cared for Bruno. Pavel is despised, and the thought of a Jew touching a German child is horrendous in the eyes of Bruno's father. In Chapter 14, Pavel is clearly showing the signs of malnutrition as he forgets to fill the Commandant's glass and begins to lose his balance while he is serving. At the end of the chapter, Pavel spills wine on Lieutenant Kotler and Bruno's family sits idly by as Kotler assaults Pavel. The author does not go into specific details, but it is suggested that Kotler mercilessly punishes Pavel for his mistake. Pavel's kindness towards Bruno contrasts greatly with the way Bruno's family treats him. They are indignant towards Pavel and could care less about his well-being.

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The Boy in the Striped Pajamas

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