What do Bruno and Shmuel tell us about friendship through their unusual relationship?

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Bruno and Shmuel's strange relationship tells us that friendship—true friendship, at any rate—rises above differences of race, culture, and nationality. Shmuel is a member of a persecuted minority; Bruno's people are the ones doing the persecuting. Not only that, but Bruno's own father plays an important role in the campaign of genocide being carried out against Shmuel and countless other Jews across Europe. On the face of it, then, Bruno the German and Shmuel the Polish Jew are the last people on earth you'd expect to forge any kind of friendship. That they are able to do so indicates just how artificial the various man-made barriers routinely used to divide people are. The fence that separates Bruno from Shmuel is a metaphor for one such artificial barrier, that of race.

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