Using various adjectives, describe Bruno's character in The Boy in the Striped Pajamas? e.g. inquisitive, curious...etc.

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gmuss25 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Adventurous: Throughout the novel, Bruno mentions that he wants to become an explorer when he grows up. He recalls going on various expeditions and exploring places at his old home in Berlin. When he arrives at Out-With, he is curious and longs to go on adventures to explore his new environment. Bruno finally gets his chance to be an "explorer" when he is asked to help find Shmuel's father. Tragically, Bruno's final expedition leads him to a gas chamber where he loses his life.

Polite: Bruno is a polite child who has strong morals and a conscious. He never interrupts adults when they are speaking, and does not mention sensitive subjects around his new friend out of fear that he will offend him. Bruno treats Maria, Pavel, and Shmuel with respect, despite the fact that many adults display contempt for them. He shows sympathy for Shmuel and regrets denying their friendship in front of Lieutenant Kotler. When he sees Shmuel following their precarious situation in the kitchen, he is quick to apologize for his actions.

Lonely: Bruno is lonely when he first arrives at Out-With. He continually mentions that he misses his old friends, and longs to play with Shmuel. Bruno tells Shmuel that he wishes he lived on the other side of the fence because there are other children who live there. In Bruno's mind, Shmuel is lucky because he is surrounded by so many kids.

davmor1973 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Naive. Bruno never truly comes to realize what's really going on at the camp. He's too young and too innocent to know about the Holocaust and the part his own father plays in it. He doesn't understand why Shmuel can't play with him like any regular boy, and why he's always wearing what look like striped pajamas. The world is very much like a gigantic playground to Bruno and everything he experiences in his life next door to the camp is understood by him in such terms.

Curious. As with any child of his age, Bruno wants to find out more about the world around him. The problem is that he's reliant on being allowed to do this by the adults in his life, and, for obvious reasons, they're completely unwilling. So although Bruno remains curious throughout the story, that curiosity is constantly thwarted by his parents, who think they're protecting him from a terrible truth. Only once does Bruno manage to break free from his parents' suffocating grip and that leads directly to his tragic demise.

Empathetic. Bruno brings Shmuel food; he helps him to find his father; and he listens to Shmuel, something that no one else will do. What Bruno lacks in understanding he more than makes up for in empathy. Yet it is a combination of his lack of his understanding, his chronic naivety, with his capacity for empathy that ultimately leads to his death.

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The Boy in the Striped Pajamas

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