Why is Bruno reluctant to leave Berlin?

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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Bruno's reluctance to leave Berlin resides in a traditional experience that children have in leaving home.  Bruno does not want to leave his world.  The world he has in Berlin is one of his school and his friends.  Bruno considers his friends, Karl and Daniel and Martin, his “three best friends for life.”  This is significant because it shows how much Bruno values people, associations, and bonds that connect one another.  To leave this in such a curt and unresolved manner is bothersome to him, and something that feeds his reluctance to leaving Berlin.

At the same time, Bruno loves his home.  The banister for sliding down, the multiple stories, and the fact that Bruno feels attached to his home are all a part of this experience.  For Bruno, living in Berlin is what allows him to also be close to his grandparents.  Boyne shows Bruno's reluctance to leaving his home as a universal experience for all children.  This becomes particularly haunting for the children who, unlike Bruno, were not able to take their belongings, and were not able to formally prepare for the departure.  They were simply "taken." 


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