"A patriot indeed...Slamming the door behind her"(pg 93) What do you think is happening in Chapter 8 of The Boy in the Striped Pajamas? How are grandmother's, grandfather's and father's...

"A patriot indeed...Slamming the door behind her"(pg 93)

What do you think is happening in Chapter 8 of The Boy in the Striped Pajamas? How are grandmother's, grandfather's and father's perspective about the war different?

Asked on by aaron3388

1 Answer | Add Yours

mwestwood's profile pic

mwestwood | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

In Chapter 8, Bruno reminisces about the parties that were held at his grandparents' home, a home where warmth and song prevailed. His grandmother, having been an actress, always had productions for special occasions. Of course, Bruno and Gretel were included in these affairs and Bruno concluded them with the recital of a poem. Unfortunately, however, the last play that Bruno, Gretel, and grandmother performed had ended in disputation, and it is with melancholy that Bruno recalls.

Shortly before this visit, Bruno's father has been promoted to Commandant. Prior to their going to his grandparents' home, Bruno's mother touches the fine fabric of her husband's uniform and proudly kisses him on the cheek. Later, 

Grandfather was very impressed when he saw his son in his new uniform, but Grandmother was the only one who seemed unimpressed.

She apparently does not approve of Nazism and its restrictive government. For, the woman who remembers the more genial Germany of her youth, one in which she could sing romantically "La Vie en Rose," repudiates the harshness to contemporary German life in its slavish devotion to the Fuhrer. Here Grandmother expresses her disgust with the new Germany, one which has lost the creative and emotional expressions of the likes of Wagner and other composers and artists. Germans' all-consuming devotion to the state disgusts her; further, she does not consider this servile devotion "patriotism." So, when her husband calls his son "a patriot," Grandmother reacts in an anti-social manner, "A patriot indeed....Slamming the door behind her."

This quotation and the incidents of Chapter 8 serve to cast doubts in Bruno's mind about his father's position and the new life in which the family finds itself. In addition, there is foreshadowing of the negative results to come.

Sources:

We’ve answered 318,996 questions. We can answer yours, too.

Ask a question