set of striped pajamas behind a barbed wire fence

The Boy in the Striped Pajamas

by John Boyne
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What is the theme of The Boy in the Striped Pajamas?

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There are a number of strong themes in this story. One is the theme of childlike innocence: the idea that children are too innocent to understand the evil that adults are capable of. Another is the theme of denial: that people are capable of denying the nature of their actions or able to delude themselves into thinking their actions are positive or beneficial even when they are in fact harmful or evil. Another theme seen in the story is that of compassion: various characters choose to behave compassionately in the wake of many acts of cruelty.

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