Use this statement below for an extended response that shows an in depth understanding of The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas."Reading broadens our understanding of the world around us."

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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In terms of "broadening" one's understanding of the world with Boyne's work, I think that the statement is validated through the appreciation of friendship and the universal quality of friendship that exists.  The narrative that is presented displays how important friendship between two people is and how it can overcome most, if not all, social conditions.  Bruno and Shmuel are immersed in one of the darkest times in human history.  However, I think that the work increases the awareness that even in the times of greatest despair, transcendent qualities like friendship still exist.  The reading increases the individual awareness that universal qualities do not have to be sacrificed because of contextual situations.  Bruno and Shmuel end up walking hand in hand to the gas chamber, unaware of the circumstances of hatred and disrespect that have put them there. Yet, the know that their friendship is the only constant in a world of deadly inconsistency.  I think that it is in this light where reading helps to broaden the understanding of the world.  In situations like Boyne's work, it helps to widen individual understanding because it addresses who we, as human beings, are and what we, as human beings, should do.

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