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 a social issue that shaped The Boy in the Striped Pajamas?

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The Boy in the Striped Pajamas in a poignant novel that demonstrates how much we all really have in common with one another. John Boyne, the author of The Boy in the Striped Pajamas, clarifies the social issue at the heart of the novel in his author's note when he states, "fences such as the one at the heart of The Boy in the Striped Pajamas still exist; it is unlikely that they will ever fully disappear." In the novel, the boys are separated by a physical fence; it imprisons the Jews and keeps them separated from the rest of society. However, this fence is a representation of the metaphorical fence that causes the separation between different societal groups, both during the Holocaust and throughout history with many other groups. This metaphorical fence, which causes separation and mistreatment of different groups in society, is created by ignorance and a lack of acceptance for other people's practices. Boyne points out in his author's note that this issue is one that will likely never go...

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