Discuss how The Boy in the Striped Pajamas by John Boyne can be seen as a great novel.

Asked on by tammah

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

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I think that one distinct way that the novel can be seen as a great one is because it is difficult to identify how many novels about the Holocaust accurately show children being heroes.  In "accuracy," there is much in way of the believability and reasonability in what Bruno does and how he carries himself.  Bruno is not a flag waver of the resistance, and he is not someone who demands the end to the Nazi Regime.  Yet, the novel's development shows him to be one who gradually becomes aware of how the dehumanization of human beings is unacceptable.  At a time in the world where so many tuned out the suffering of others, Bruno is authentically shown to increase his sensitivity and awareness of the pain of others.  In this, the novel can be considered great for it does not shy away from demanding a greater level of sensitivity for all human beings regardless of contingent context.  In this, the novel can be seen as great because of the heroism that Bruno displays, a reminder that all human beings can give something more to minimize the cries of others' suffering.


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