What are some examples of foreshadowing in The Boy in the Striped Pajamas (Pyjamas) between chapters 10 and 18? Thanks.

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durbanville eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In The Boy in the Striped Pajamas, Bruno and his family have moved closer to Bruno's father's place of work, which Bruno mispronounces as "Outwith." Bruno does not understand what his father does but knows it is very important. He has watched the men "in fantastic uniforms" and knows that his father is "a man to watch," because "the Fury," (mispronunciation of fuhrer), has "big things in mind for him," (chapter 1).

By chapter 10, the family has moved and Bruno is bored because he has no friends and is not allowed to explore. However, he has decided to walk along the fence which so fascinates him which is where he sees "the dot that became a speck..." Foreshadowing is used to arouse readers' interest and prepare them for, often shocking events that follow although sometimes it is subtle and the reader only realizes later that it was a warning.  An example of foreshadowing, in chapter 10, is when Shmuel and Bruno exchange names and Shmuel tells Bruno how many Shmuels there are on his "side of the fence." Shmuel wishes for "a name of my own." This highlights the senselessness of the camps where people are treated like criminals based purely on, for example, their names (because their names indicate their religion). The fact that the boys share a birthday also foreshadows the fact that they will share the same fate when Bruno joins Shmuel.

In chapter 11, a good example of foreshadowing is when the "Fury" comes to dinner at Bruno's house and takes a seat "at the head of the table- in Father's seat!" Bruno is shocked at the disrespect he perceives. This foreshadows the tragic end when Bruno will find himself, with Shmuel in the gas chamber. Regardless of Bruno's father's seniority, in his own home or as Commandant of "Out-with," the concentration camp, he is powerless against the"Fury." 

The tragic irony of Shmuel's comment in chapter 12, when he tells Bruno, "You're on the wrong side of the fence," and the significance when Bruno decides to keep his friendship with Shmuel a "secret" from his family, despite his initial excitement, foreshadow Bruno's mysterious disappearance when he, unbeknownst to anyone, does go under the fence to his death. They will forever share this secret. 

In the same chapter, Smuel's reaction to the talk of Lietenant Kotler's name, when he shivers, but not from the cold, foreshadows the cruelty with which Kotler will treat Pavel a short time later. Bruno is shocked that no one stops him and decides that he will not cause any "chaos" for fear of the possible repercussions. Bruno's significant comment that one of his old friends from Berlin is a "ginger' reveals that being different is, at the moment, something to be feared.

There are other examples in the chapters all of which serve to add to the build up in the tragic story and all of which indicate that this impossible situation in which Bruno and Shmuel find themselves, could have been avoided. 

iamkaori | Student

The first foreshadowing after Bruno meets Schumel is when Bruno crawls under the fence in chapter 12 to be with Schumel. This foreshadows how Bruno will die, among the rest of the Jews.

Later in chapter 13 at the dinner table, Pavel spills wine, and Kotler becomes awfully rude and disrespectful towards Pavel. This makes the children cry and be afraid, as Bruno realizes that something bad is happening. 

Finally, in chapter 17, Bruno tries to tell Schumel the news that he is moving back to Berlin. However, Schumel does not appear for days. Finally, when he does, he tells Bruno that he cannot find his father. Eager to help, Bruno crawls under the fence to the concentration camp. This is the ultimate foreshadowing of Bruno's death. 

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The Boy in the Striped Pajamas

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