In Chapter 2 of The Boy In The Striped Pajamas, why does Bruno's Mother become nervous and afraid when she realizes Maria has overheard what she said?

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schulzie eNotes educator| Certified Educator

This event actually happened in Chapter 4, page 40.  Even though Maria is a servant and has been working for their family for a long time, things have happened in Germany that did not allow people to speak openly in their own homes.

Remember that Bruno's father was a very powerful man in Nazi, Germany. They had even had the Fuhrer over for dinner with Eva Braun.  He had been given a very important position in the government.  It would be unthinkable for anyone from the family to say ANYTHING against the Fuhrer.  In Nazi, Germany, people were encouraged to report any anti-Nazi activity or speech to the police.  Mother did not know if Maria would report her for regretting that they entertained the Fuhrer and for criticizing her husband for being "determined to get ahead."

Bruno already said that there were other whispering maids and butlers that he did not know.   Also, Bruno already knows that he shouldn't criticize his father.  When he says that they should go home and his father's bedroom door opens, Bruno freezes in fear.  The other thing he is worried about is a serious talking-to, but Mother knows there is more to fear if she gets reported saying anything against the Fuhrer or the government.  She even tells Bruno, "Let's just  hope we can come back here someday when this is all over."


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The Boy in the Striped Pajamas

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