The Boy in the Striped Pajamas Questions and Answers
by John Boyne

The Boy in the Striped Pajamas book cover
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How did Bruno and Shmuel's friendship benefit Shmuel?  

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Shmuel benefited greatly from his friendship with Bruno throughout the novel. Shmuel mentions to Bruno that the majority of the children in the concentration camp are unhappy, and not friendly. Bruno's friendship provides Shmuel emotional relief which allows Shmuel an opportunity to engage in friendly conversation and vent his frustrations while imprisoned at Auschwitz. Shmuel suffers from malnutrition and is constantly hungry. Bruno, who has access to plenty of food, brings Shmuel bread and cheese to eat when he visits him. The food that Bruno brings has a nutritional value which benefits Shmuel. Also, towards the end of the novel Shmuel asks Bruno if he can help him find his father. Bruno offers to help Shmuel search for his father, which is a risky task on Bruno's part. Bruno provides support for his friend by sneaking under the fence and helping Shmuel look for his father. Although the boys do not find Shmuel's father, their close friendship provides both boys with a sense of belonging and gratification to an otherwise bleak situation.

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