In The Boy in the Striped Pajamas, chapter 7, how does Bruno treat Pavel?

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mwestwood eNotes educator| Certified Educator

This chapter revolves around an episode of Bruno's asking Lieutenant Kotler for a spare tire so that he can make a swing that is suspended from the branch of a large tree. After he winds the rope around the tree successfully, Bruno begins swinging, kicking off the tree and going faster and faster. Soon, the inevitable occurs and Bruno loses his grip and falls heavily upon his arm and leg; the tire viciously swings back and hits him on the head. Fortunately, Pavel, the waiter, who is cleaning carrots in the kitchen, has been watching Bruno through the window; he comes out to Bruno and attends him because Bruno's mother is not home. But, Bruno is unsure of Pavel's ability to treat him despite Pavel's calm manner as he gets the first aid kit and cleans the cuts and applies the "green liquid" to them.

After he finishes, Pavel thoroughly scrubs his hands and returns to preparing the vegetables. But, Bruno is worried about his wounds, and wonders aloud if his cuts are worse that Pavel believes them. Pavel says Bruno is all right.

"Well how do you know?" asked Bruno quickly, growing irritable now despite the fact that this was the same man who had...brought him in and taken care of him. "You're not a doctor."

"Yes, I am."

"But, you're a waiter....And you peel the vegetables for dinner. How can you be a doctor, too?"

Pavel is careful how he replies. He says that he is certainly a doctor.

"Just because a man glances up at the sky at night does not make him an astronomer, you know."

Bruno does not understand and scrutinizes Pavel's face, noticing that the waiter may have worn a beard at one time. He starts to ask Pavel more questions, but his mother returns. Then, as Bruno leaves the room, he hears his mother tell Pavel that she will tell the commandant that she has cleaned Bruno's wounds if he asks.

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The Boy in the Striped Pajamas

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