How can I write an opening paragraph for a character analysis of Bruno in the book The Boy in the Striped Pajamas?  

Expert Answers
mrs-tolley eNotes educator| Certified Educator

You may want to begin your introductory paragraph with a hook. This will make your writing more interesting for your teacher to read, and make it stand out among all the other character analyses. A hook could be a question, a quote, a short anecdote, or a surprising statement or fact, as long as it is interesting, grabs the reader's attention, and provides some kind of lead-in to your topic. 

Don't forget that an opening paragraph for any kind of literary essay, including a character analysis, should include background information on the work, such as title, genre, author, publishing information (especially country and year of publication), and one or two sentences to summarize the story. For example, you could write, "The Boy in the Striped Pajamas was written by Irish novelist John Boyne and published by David Fickling Books in 2006." You must then go on to give your one-to-two-sentence summary of the novel before you begin to talk about Bruno.

In a character analysis, you need to begin by giving some main points, or general statements, about the character, and then write a paragraph for each of your main points giving supporting details such as explanation and examples (quotes, summary, or paraphrasing from the novel) to support your points. So your opening paragraph needs to give the basics of the character, such as name, age, gender, and family and cultural background, and then make your main points about the character's characteristics. Some questions you might answer in your main points are: Is he/she a static or dynamic character? Does he/she represent something in the story? Does he/she serve as a foil for another character, or some other kind of literary tool in the story? What specific ideas, character traits, or actions are important to this character in the story?

You can read about Bruno on eNotes by clicking here. You will find that he is a young boy whose family is forced to move to Auschwitz where his father, a Nazi commandant, is reassigned. Bruno is a dynamic character, because through his meeting with Shmuel he learns tolerance. He represents innocence and kindness because he never succumbs to the Nazi hatred that he is exposed to through his father.

If you use these points in an opening paragraph, you will be able to build your character analysis by giving additional explanation and supporting evidence for each.

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The Boy in the Striped Pajamas

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