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The Boy in the Striped Pajamas is a tragic reminder that war has devastating effects for perpetrators and victims. Bruno is the narrator and telling the story from his perspective gives the reader insights into Bruno's family. Maria, the maid, is an indicator that the family is comfortable or well-off, because they are able to afford a full-time maid. Bruno's descriptions of the house they live in is also indicative of the lifestyle of Bruno's family. He describes his beloved house in chapter 1 and it is apparent that Bruno's mother is very reluctant to leave but has no choice because the "Fury" (Bruno's mispronunciation of fuhrer) has big plans for Bruno's father. The house has five floors and the family also has a cook and a man-servant. Bruno's description when he slides down the banister reveals that the house has several bathrooms (a real sign of wealth in the 1940s when many people only had toilets outside and tin baths which they brought into the kitchen at bathtime).
Although the house in "Out-With" (another of Bruno's mispronounced words) is quite large, it does not compare to Bruno's Berlin home; having only three floors and one bathroom which to Bruno is quite a problem. This reveals the fact that Bruno is used to living comfortably. Bruno and his unlikely friend Shmuel reveal similarities between the boys- they even share a birthday, much to Bruno's pleasure- but as they discuss their lives, the reader understands more about the stark differences and their different living conditions. The importance of Bruno's father and his senior status also supports the notion that the family is well-off.
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