The Boy in the Striped Pajamas Questions and Answers
by John Boyne

The Boy in the Striped Pajamas book cover
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What is the setting of The Boy in the Striped Pajamas by John Boyne? More specifically, what is the time and place?

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Hollis Sanders eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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The Boy in the Striped Pajamas is very clearly understood to take place during the events of WWII, during a time when the tragic events of the Holocaust of the Jewish people were well underway. We know this, first and foremost, from the fact that the primary narrative focus of the book is an interaction between Bruno, the young son of an SS officer, and Shmuel, a young boy who is imprisoned in the concentration camp at Auschwitz. Though the exact nature of Shmuel's circumstances are somewhat unclear to Bruno, they are entirely clear to the reader, who experiences the cruel irony of Bruno's innocence firsthand.

Because of this, we can surmise that the events of the story take place sometime between 1941 and 1945. Beyond that, we would only be guessing. The exact time of the story is not precisely relevant, as the horrors of concentration camps and the ignorance of many German civilians, particularly children, were uniform throughout. As far as exact place goes, we are certain that Bruno and...

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skinner53 | Student

loll this is funny