Please help me answer these questions from Chapter 6: "The Overpaid Maid" in The Boy in the Striped Pajamas.
2. Bruno feels that Maria is part of the family. What does it show us about Bruno ? How is Bruno contrasted with his father ?
3. How is Bruno being considerate towards Maria ?
4. What does Bruno mean by the metaphor of the 'leaking' boat ?
5. How does Maria react to Bruno;s comment on the 'leaking boat' ? Why does she feel like this ?
6. Why is the 'mistake' Bruno mentioned symbolic ?
7. How does Maria try to convince Bruno that he is wrong about father ? What does it suggest to the reader ?
8. Why is Maria's response about where she would be if it wasn't for the father ironic and how is Bruno's innocence evident ?
9. How is Bruno's realization that Maria is a person symbolic ? What does this tell us about Bruno ?
10. The readers learn about Father's generosity towards Maria's family. How does this create a contrast with Father , the commandant ?
11. Gretel does not see Maria as 'a person with feelings'.What does this reflect ?
12. When Maria says that it was not to them to change things, what is she referring to ?
13. How does Bruno's attitude change towards Maria ? Why ?
1 Answer | Add Yours
The fact that Bruno considers Maria a member of the family shows that he has a good heart, like his father used to have.
Bruno is unhappy at Auschwitz. He misses his cushy life in Berlin, but most of all he feels lonely. He even resorts to talking to the maid, Maria, in desperation when she comes into his room with his laundry. He asks her if she agrees that everything is terrible there. He is too young to really understand what he is asking, and she is not sure how to respond.
Maria opened her mouth to say something and then closed it again just as quickly. She seemed to be considering her response carefully, selecting the right words, preparing to say them, and then thinking better of it and discarding them altogether. (Ch. 6)
Bruno considers Maria part of the family, since she has been around since he was very little. She respects Bruno’s father because he was kind to her and her family, and she warns Bruno not to say anything negative about her father. She is clearly trying to protect him. She appreciates that Bruno’s father used to be a good man. She understands that somewhere deep inside him, the same man who helped her family is there.
“He has a lot of kindness in his soul, he truly does, which makes me wonder ….” (Ch. 6)
When Bruno says she is part of the family, Maria responds that his father does not feel the same way. Yet she also is protective of Bruno’s father and considers him a good man. She is worried that the Nazis might hear negative comments and Bruno’s father might face repercussions.
Bruno's father's cold nature seems to be a response to the war. Sometimes good people have to do bad things, or look the other way, in order to survive. Although Bruno is too young to understand what is going on, his observations seem to show us this. During World War II, many Germans were swept up in the Nazi world without really wanting it.
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