The Conflict in The Boy in the Striped Pajamas centers around Bruno's feelings. At first, he is content to pass the time by interacting with Schmuel despite believing him to be inferior. He doesn't feel badly about eating in front of him because the way that Jews are viewed is the way it has always been in his mind. His father, he believes, is doing an important job in running the camp. However, as he spends more time with Schmuel across the fence, he begins to see the boy beyond the label, and it is here that the conflict really begins to unfold. Bruno begins to question why Schmuel can't come out from behind the fence, why his head is shaved, why he can only wear the "striped pajamas," and, on a deeper level, why he and Shmuel are any different at all. At first, he is so conflicted within himself that his actions lead to a beating for Schmuel when he denies having told him that he could eat in the main house, but as the novel develops, he develops a feeling of kinship and likeness to Schmuel - their friendship has developed despite Bruno's upbringing and the environment. Schmuel is just his friend, another boy who is more like him than different from him. It is this resolution of the conflict within himself that leads to the fateful decision to help Schmuel at the end of the novel. In the context of larger society, the book begs the question: Is hatred taught - the conflict of nature vs. nurture with regard to prejudice and intolerance.