From where have the pajamas been brought?

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Ashley Kannan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Shmuel brings the other pair of pajamas to Bruno.  When Bruno meets Shmuel at the fence, he finds that his friend is holding a pair that is “exactly like the one he [is] wearing.”  Shmuel has been able to obtain a pair because they are in abundance on the other side of the fence.  At this point, Bruno and Shmuel are no different physically from anyone else.  It is significant that Shmuel brings a pair of pajamas to Bruno because it is a moment in which "the other" merges with the majority in order to bring light to the idea that differences in which so much stock is placed are only external.  While both boys are demarcated as "different," Shmuel bringing the pajamas to make both the same.  There is no difference between them once Bruno dons the pajamas.  It is a point that ends up defining the end for both of them as they are herded into the gas chambers together.  The point being that while they are different, they go in together as few make any distinction in terms of who is victim and who is aggressor.  Bruno's wearing of the pajamas reflects how social constructs of identity can be temporal and, in this case, not telling of anything transcendent.