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

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What is a short summary of chapter 2 in The Boy in the Striped Pajamas?

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In chapter 2 of The Boy in the Striped Pajamas, the family moves from Berlin, Germany, to Auschwitz.

When Bruno sees the new house, which sits on a large and isolated lot, he is sadly disappointed. In Berlin, his lovely and expansive home was among other houses on a street with large trees and neighbors. Not far away were other streets that led toward the center of town, where there was a market with stalls holding a variety of colored vegetables with delicious aromas. People strolled along the streets nearby, and some sat at tables "drinking frothy drinks" and laughing. But here in this isolated place, Bruno has a feeling that no one laughs.

The interior of the house also disappoints Bruno. Every room on the three floors has been simply constructed; there are no nooks or crannies as in the other house. Also, his father's office is still designated as "Out of Bounds at All Times and No Exceptions." Worse yet, Bruno no longer has friends with whom he can play. Only the maid, Maria, has come with the family, and now there is an old man who will prepare their vegetables and serve them at dinner. Bruno thinks this man looks "very unhappy but also a little angry."

When Bruno asks his mother why they have moved, she tells him they have no choice and that "some people make all the decisions for us." Bruno still says, "I think this is a bad idea," because he wants to return to Berlin. His mother simply urges him to "make the best of a bad experience." She then tells Bruno to go upstairs and help Maria unpack his things. There Bruno talks to Maria, but she, too, offers him no hope, saying only something about his father's job. Hearing the floor creak, Bruno notices a young man in a uniform who looks very serious as he carries a box from a nearby room and walks toward the staircase. Bruno asks Maria who he is, and she tells him that he is one of his father's soldiers. Bruno is again struck with his feeling of loneliness. Looking over to the corner of the room, he sees a window in the ceiling that reaches down into the wall. Since this window resembles one in the house in Berlin, Bruno moves toward it, hoping he might be able to see back to Berlin and his home and the street where people sit and laugh as they drink their frothy drinks. But when Bruno looks out this window, something makes him feel afraid and very cold.

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