How is brunos innocence portrayed in the boy in stripped pyjamas?

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schulzie eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Bruno doesn't understand the people on the other side of the fence.  He has been kept ignorant since he is a small child of nine.  When he first meets Shmuel he thinks it is unfair that he doesn't have anyone to play with and talk to but Shmuel gets "to have dozens of freinds and are probably playing for hours every day." (pg 111).  Shmuel tells him that he is from Poland, and Bruno decides that Poland is in Denmark "because that's many miles away." (pg 112).   Shmuel tells Bruno how he was forced out of his home and brought to the camp.  Bruno equates it with moving from Berlin to Auswitz. He cannot imagine that more than one person would live in a room.  When Shmeul had a black eye, Bruno assumes there are bullies on the other side of the fence. (pg 150).  It says that Bruno got "increasingly fedup that he had to wear trousers and shirts and ties and shoes that were too tight for him when Shmuel and his friends got to wear striped pajamas all day long" (pg 152) Bruno has a discussion with Gretel about why they are not allowed on the other side of the fence.  Gretel tells him it is because they (the people on the other side of the fence) have to be kept with their own kind --- Jews.  Bruno doesn't know what Jews are and asks if they are Jews. (pg 182) Finally, Bruno does not understand the striped pajamas and thinks if he wears them, then they will not notice him in the camp.  Unfortunately, that is so true.  On page 207 it explains that Bruno thought that all the huts were full of happy people and that the children would be playing tennis or football.  He had thought there would be shops like in Berlin.  He was shocked with what he saw inthe camp. He went over on the other side to help Shmuel find his father because he never knew what was happening to the people there.  He had no fear because he was innocent and unaware.

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The Boy in the Striped Pajamas

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