In The Boy in the Striped Pajamas, why does Bruno hate his mother? 

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durbanville eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In The Boy in the Striped Pajamas, Bruno is very confused when he comes home one day to find Maria, the family's maid, packing his things. Bruno cannot imagine what he may have done wrong that would make his parents send him away and he wastes no time discussing it with is mother. In chapter 2, Bruno's mother explains that the family is moving away but this is small consolation for Bruno, who reveals his displeasure, almost raising his voice which he knows is not allowed, and he is sad when Mother suggests that he can make new friends when they move "as if the making of a boy's three best friends for life was an easy thing." 

Bruno knows immediately that moving was a bad idea and tries to suggest that the family must return to Berlin and "chalk it up to experience," never returning to this "desolate" place. Mother gets agitated and Bruno is offended that Mother gets to interrupt him but he could never dare to interrupt her without fear of punishment. Mother's "unfriendly" voice makes it quite clear that their stay in the new house is non-negotiable and Bruno marches away. 

In chapter 6, Bruno expresses himself, thinking no-one can hear him and he says that he hates "absolutely everything." He tries to talk to Maria while trying to understand his feelings. He even goes as far as calling his father "stupid" and is cautioned by Maria not to speak of his father like that. In chapter 7, he suggests that his mother is selfish because she intends to take credit for bandaging his injured knee although Pavel has done it and he is conflicted about his feelings for his parents . However, Bruno is always respectful and never suggests that he actually hates his mother, even though she makes him mad. 

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The Boy in the Striped Pajamas

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