Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

Bruno is depicted as an adventurous, brave nine-year-old boy throughout the novel The Boy In The Striped Pajamas. Bruno openly expresses his displeasure at the beginning of the story when his entire family moves from their beautiful home in Berlin to their new home located on the premises of the Auschwitz concentration camp, where Bruno's father is the acting commandant. Bruno's overarching quality is his naivety. He does not fully comprehend his father's occupation and does not realize that his home is located on the largest Nazi concentration camp. Bruno refers to Auschwitz as "Out-With" and believes that the Jewish prisoners are wearing striped pajamas. He cannot seem to understand the bleak, hopeless nature of the surrounding environment is completely oblivious to the seriousness of everything that is happening around him. Bruno is initially lonely and ends up disobeying his parents' orders by walking along the massive fence that surrounds the concentration camp. Bruno eventually becomes friends with a young Jewish prisoner named Shmuel and the two boys enjoy their close relationship. Bruno also demonstrates compassion by bringing Shmuel food during their visits and he even agrees to help Shmuel find his father, who is "lost" in the concentration camp. Tragically, Bruno and Shmuel lose their lives when they are forced into a gas chamber.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team

We’ll help your grades soar

Start your 48-hour free trial and unlock all the summaries, Q&A, and analyses you need to get better grades now.

  • 30,000+ book summaries
  • 20% study tools discount
  • Ad-free content
  • PDF downloads
  • 300,000+ answers
  • 5-star customer support
Start your 48-Hour Free Trial