Through Bruno's eyes, what are the sad effects of war? 

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Ashley Kannan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Working backwards, I think that Bruno's experience demonstrates how war operates like a net, pulling in many innocent people in its web of destruction.  Bruno must make the ultimate sacrifice for his friend.  He did not ask for this job. He stands up for what is right.  This costs him his life.  I think that this becomes one of the worst effects of war in showing how innocent people like Bruno end up paying the price for those who perpetrate war.  Certainly, Bruno's narrative displays how cruelty is another negative effect of war.  Bruno witnesses how war creates divisions in which cruelty and mistreatment of human beings is both tolerated and encouraged.  Bruno's witnessing of Lt. Kotler abusing Pavel and exercising power in some of the worst ways is reflective of this.  Bruno himself, remaining silent while Shmuel is beaten, is another example of this.  In war, cruelty and human barbarism is on display for all to see.  This becomes another bad or negative effect of war that Bruno sees, and thus, we see, as well.  I would say that another one of the bad effects of war is the conformity in thought that is seen in Gretel and in others that Bruno fails to grasp.  Bruno does not understand how easy it is for others to lose sight of how questioning that which is taken for granted.  Bruno's sense of questioning that asks why certain elements are the way they are and why other elements are not evident is a casualty of war, in that war forces complete submission and obedience. In this, one sees through Bruno's experience another construction of how war is bad.