What would Boyne's The Boy in the Striped Pajamas be like if it were told through an adult's eyes?

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Noelle Thompson eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Please keep in mind that this is an opinion question that has no "right" answer.  However, in this eNotes Educator's opinion, this novel would lose all of its charm if told from an adult perspective.  The beauty of The Boy in the Striped Pajamas is that Bruno gains wisdom precisely from his innocence.  Note the following quotation:

What exactly was the difference?  He wondered to himself. And who decided which people wore the striped pajamas and which people wore the uniforms?

The excellence of this quotation is in the wisdom of knowing that both people in uniforms and people in "the striped pajamas" are all humans and should be treated kindly and with respect.  Bruno learns this bit of wisdom throughout the book.

The reader would also lose other aspects of the main character's innocence.  For example, the reader would lose Bruno's innocent misunderstanding of "Auschwitz" as "Out-With" and "the Führer" as "the Fury."  The reader would also lose the beauty of friendship between the two nine-year-old boys (one German and one Jewish), Bruno and Shmuel.  

Thus, even though it might be interesting to see both Berlin and Auschwitz through the eyes of a brainwashed German or a German who is against everything Hitler stands for, the reader would lose the beauty of the main character's innocence.

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The Boy in the Striped Pajamas

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