Discuss relevant points in a character sketch of Bruno.

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Ashley Kannan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Any character sketch of Bruno would have to include his non- conformist manner.  Bruno is the constant voice of dissent.  He voices dissonance when the family make the move away from Berlin.  He is in consistent disagreement with Gretel's infatuation with Nazism and its trappings of social power.  He breaks the rules of his parents in going to the fence and interacting with the people in the "striped pajamas."  Even his manner of speaking is one where dissent is evident.  "Out- With" and "The Fury" reveals a characterization that cannot make sense out of that which exists beyond logic.  Bruno defies what is in place of him.  He challenges the social authority in the name of what he thinks is right and what he thinks is honorable.  He does not realize this.  Bruno is simply being himself in a world where so many are seeking to be somebody else.

A similar inclusion in Bruno's character sketch would be that he comes to embody that which is universal in a context that is conditional.  At the narrative develops, Bruno comes to embody the transcendental qualities.  Ideas like him searching for a great adventure as well as standing up for the realities of friendship are in stark contrast to the condition that surrounds him.  Bruno's characterization are to embody values that are passing in the temporal setting of Nazi Germany.  It is for this reason that his death is more than the death of a child.  When he assures Shmuel in the gas chamber that they will he is his "best friend for life," it speaks volumes in how he is going to die in the name of his transcendent beliefs.  In my mind, this is a major component of Bruno's character sketch.

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The Boy in the Striped Pajamas

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