In the first chapter of The Boy in the Striped Pajamas, what are the similarities and differences between the mother's reaction to the news of having to move and Bruno's?

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durbanville eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In The Boy in the Striped Pajamas, Bruno is confused and upset when he arrives home from school to find Maria, the maid, packing up his belongings. Having not been prepared for such an event, he is overwhelmed by thoughts of the unknown. His mother's failure to prepare him leads him to assume the worst, thinking that he has perhaps caused "chaos" and is to be sent away. 

Both Bruno and his mother are upset to be moving. She is resigned to the fact but has apparently been crying - her eyes are more "red than usual," like Bruno's after he has been crying, although he is not aware that she has actually cried. She tries to convince Bruno that it will be a big "adventure" but she does not believe it herself. She understands that she must play a supportive role and, like Bruno, will do what is expected of her. The main difference is that Bruno does as he is told because he is an obedient child whereas his mother fulfills her role as the dutiful wife. 

Just as Bruno returns to the task of packing his things so too is his mother silenced when "Father spoke louder than Mother could and that put a stop to their conversation." 

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The Boy in the Striped Pajamas

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