What is your impression of Bruno in The Boy in the Striped Pajamas?

Bruno in The Boy in the Striped Pajamas is depicted as an innocent, courageous boy, who lacks perspective but is a loyal, trustworthy friend. Bruno's childlike innocence prevents him from understanding the Holocaust or recognizing the seriousness of his surrounding environment. Despite his naivety, Bruno is a tolerant, sympathetic child, who develops a strong friendship with Shmuel and selflessly risks his life to help his friend.

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My impression of Bruno improves drastically over the course of this harrowing novel, and the ways in which he grows up are admirable.

At the beginning, he comes across as a whiny boy who doesn't want to move with his family. Although it can be excused because he is young,...

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My impression of Bruno improves drastically over the course of this harrowing novel, and the ways in which he grows up are admirable.

At the beginning, he comes across as a whiny boy who doesn't want to move with his family. Although it can be excused because he is young, the extent to which Bruno is oblivious to his surroundings seems strange for a nine-year-old. Until his new friend, Shmuel, tells him that they are actually in Poland, Bruno doesn't realize that he is no longer in Germany.

My opinion of Bruno dropped even further when he got Shmuel into trouble to protect himself. When Shmuel is brought to the house as a servant to help with preparations for Bruno's father's birthday party, Bruno gives Shmuel some chicken to eat. When he is caught, Shmuel told Kotler that Bruno is his friend and gave him the chicken. Bruno, fearing that he would get into trouble, tells Kotler that he has no idea who Shmuel is.

However, everything turns around in this story, and Bruno proves himself to be a hero when he breaks into Auschwitz to help Shmuel look for his father, who has gone missing. Having abandoned Shmuel once, he does not abandon him again, holding his hand all the way into the gas chamber and to certain death.

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Bruno is portrayed as a genuine, naive child, who is curious, selfless, and courageous. As a nine-year-old boy, Bruno does not comprehend his father's position as Commandant of Auschwitz or recognize the horrors of the Holocaust. Although Bruno's innocence prohibits him from understanding the world around him, it gives him the opportunity to appreciate the authenticity of others, which allows him to exercise tolerance and empathy towards others.

Unlike his family and the Nazi soldiers, Bruno does not discriminate against people because of their ethnicity, race, or religion. For example, Bruno recognizes Shmuel and Pavel as kind, compassionate individuals and does not view them as inferior beings. Bruno's innocence highlights his humanity, and he is the only person in his family who sympathizes with the Jewish prisoners. In the story, Bruno's curiosity influences him to travel alongside the fence surrounding Auschwitz, where he befriends a Jewish prisoner named Shmuel.

Bruno and Shmuel develop a close friendship, and Bruno demonstrates his selfless personality by bringing him food whenever he gets the chance. Although Bruno understands the risks of secretly meeting with Shmuel, he is not willing to end his friendship and displays his loyalty and courage by crawling underneath the fence to help Shmuel find his father. Bruno's willingness to sacrifice his well-being and enter the hostile concentration camp to help his friend reflects his selfless personality and courage. Overall, readers are left with a positive impression of Bruno and view him as an innocent, courageous boy.

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Bruno is a heroic figure in The Boy in the Striped Pajamas.

The way Bruno views people leaves an impression.  Bruno treats people as ends in of themselves, and not as a means to an end.  In this regard, Bruno is authentic. While he might make mistakes, such as thinking that Pavel could not be a doctor or letting Shmuel take abuse from Kotler, Bruno makes amends.  He does not mistreat people deliberately.  This makes him different from others in the novel.  Bruno's father looks at Auschwitz as enhancing his career, while Gretel sees the embrace of Nazism as a vehicle for popularity.  Bruno's mother fails to speak out when she knows better, while Kotler is the prototypical Nazi when it comes to abusing people. Bruno is heroic in the honorable way he treats people, something rare in the Holocaust time period.

Bruno is heroic in how he stands by his word to Shmuel. Once again, it was rare for people to be this decent during the Holocaust.  When Bruno promises Shmuel that they will go on an "adventure," he sees to it that they do. Eve though Bruno is scared about what he finds on the other side of the fence, he does not back away from his promise of being there for his friend.  Finally, as he and Shmuel walk into the gas chamber, into terrifying reality, he affirms their friendship.  Bruno's heroism can be seen in his loyalty towards Shmuel.

Finally, I would say that Bruno is heroic because he is an example of how people should behave even in the worst of situations.  During the Holocaust, there was so much cruelty that not taking action or being apathetic could be seen as a virtue.  Given how badly people behaved, not doing anything was better than perpetrating evil. However, Bruno is a reminder that in the worst of times, human beings must act in the best of their nature. Relativism does not apply to human decency.  Bruno embodies the very best during the very worst, and this impression makes him heroic.

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