What are some good quotes from The Boy in the Striped Pajamas?

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Ashley Kannan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Part of what makes Boyne's work so powerful is that it allows the reader to understand Bruno's experiences through his own eyes.  This is part of the reason why Bruno has some of the best quotes.  He speaks not as a historian or a philosopher, but as a regular person who comes to understand the true horror of humanity.  Yet, rather than passing judgment in a negative manner, Bruno takes the opposite form of the world around him and actually becomes an example of what should be in a world of what is.  This is seen in several instances.  For example, when Bruno becomes aware that Maria's narrative makes her "more" than a "mere" servant, he rebukes Gretel for treating her as one.  Another important quote would be that Bruno sees the salute of "Heil Hitler" as something of a greeting, and his innocence reflects his own sense of being in the world.  I think that this is significant for in a world where the call of "Heil Hitler" causes intense fear and agony in millions, Bruno simply sees it as a way of saying "hello."  Finally, when Bruno and Shmuel are in the gas chamber, Bruno affirms his friendship to Shmuel.  It is a poignant moment because it is a reflection of Bruno's goodness, something that lacks in the world.  In this moment, Bruno has become an example of what should be as opposed to what exists.

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The Boy in the Striped Pajamas

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