From The Boy in the Striped Pajamas, how can Shmuel's speech be described with supporting quotes and examples?

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Ashley Kannan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In many respects, Shmuel's speech is representative of someone who has endured abuse and a blighted existence.  He does not speak with an overwhelming or intense demeanor.  Bruno's first discovery of Shmuel is our own first impression.  We both see a child who has been beaten from the experience of the Holocaust.  He is unassuming, one who has learned to not possess the defining zeal and passion of childhood.  Bruno meets Shmuel on the other side of the fence, simply being.  Shmuel's speech reflects loss, evident in how he does not really embrace much in way of hope.  Bruno is much more passionate and zealous in his spoken communication, talking of adventure, discovery, and hope.  Bruno is more resigned to his condition, and the lack of enthusiasm is a speech pattern which is reflective of this.  Bruno looks down at the ground, another example of a speech pattern that displays a lack of hope.  Bruno's voice is weakened and debilitated, seen in the small fingers and emaciated state in which he lives as a result of his treatment in the camp.  Bruno's speech can be described as frail and broken, limited in scope.  This is reflective of the life he leads in the camp.  He does not deliver anything in way of passion or intensity because Shmuel's life is absent of such realities.  When Shmuel takes his hands in the final moment of both of their lives, it is a reflection of the life Shmuel has led.  It is one where his power has lessened as a result of the forces around him, a reality that his speech patterns reveal.

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The Boy in the Striped Pajamas

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