In The Boy in the Striped Pajamas, is Bruno in conflict with the setting?

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

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I think that Bruno is in conflict with his setting.  On face value, it would be presumed that he is in conflict for his setting is Auschwitz.  Yet, the fact that he is in conflict with its mere pronunciation ("Out- With") reflects that Bruno's dissonance with it is more profound.  Bruno feels out of place from where he is because it lacks the personal and emotional connections of his Berlin.  He is in conflict with the limitations and seeming boredom that is present.  This causes him to go to the end of the fence in the first place and find Shmuel.  Bruno's innocence is in conflict with what is happening at Auschwitz, although he is unaware of it.  There is a very interesting element in that Bruno's nature compels him to feel at ill ease with Auschwitz even though he has little idea of what takes place at it.  Ironically, the only time in which Bruno is not at opposition with Auschwitz is when he and Shmuel become victims of it.