In the novel The Boy in the Striped Pajamas, how is "friendship" presented?  

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gmuss25 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Friendship is presented as being unexpected, gratifying, and helpful throughout the novel The Boy in the Striped Pajamas. Bruno and Shmuel first meet unexpectedly while Bruno is walking parallel to the concentration camp fence. The reader also does not expect German and Jewish boys living during WWII to become friends because of the deep seeded hatred amongst the two ethnicities. Both boys take pleasure in their friendship and Bruno soon forgets about how bad he hates his new house at Out-With. Shmuel is also delighted to talk with someone who listens and does not bully him. Bruno and Shmuel also mutually benefit from their friendship. Bruno is simply glad to have a friend, and Shmuel not only has someone to talk to, but Bruno also gives him food and helps Shmuel attempt to find his father.

Friendship is also presented as a positive force that can withstand and overcome social differences and traumatic environments. Despite Germany's nationalist views and their contempt for Jews, Bruno and Shmuel's friendship thrives. Their different ethnic backgrounds and situations do not impede their friendship. A friendship develops in a hopeless place and is depicted as an overwhelmingly positive force throughout the novel.

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The Boy in the Striped Pajamas

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