In John Boyne's The Boy in the Striped Pajamas, how does Bruno's mother feel about leaving their home in Berlin?

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Tamara K. H. eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In the first chapter of John Boyne's The Boy in the Striped Pajamas, we see Bruno's mother responding to the prospect of the move in a positive way and trying to encourage Bruno to be positive as well. One thing she says to comfort Bruno and sound positive about the move is that it is "going to be a great adventure" (p. 6). However, by the time we get to the second chapter and read the description of the new house, we know that the mother is just as disappointed about the move as her children.

The house is described as standing on an "empty, desolate" location with no other houses surrounding it (p. 10). Bruno is further disappointed by the size of the house, as it has only three stories, three bedrooms, one bathroom, a kitchen, dinning room, office, and a basement for the servants to sleep in. Bruno feels like the new house is completely isolated from the world. We can tell that Bruno's mother feels just as disappointed about the situation but knows she has no choice but to accept it. We learn of her acceptance of the situation when she explains to Bruno, "We don't have the luxury of thinking ... Some people make all the decisions for us," which are very important statements considering the major themes of the book (p. 11). We also sense her disappointment with the house and their situation when she further tells Bruno, "We have to make the best of a bad situation" (p. 12).

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The Boy in the Striped Pajamas

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