One topic sentence about internal and external conflicts in The Boy in the Striped Pajamas could pertain to the start of the story. Bruno and his family have to move from Berlin to the countryside. The relocation upsets Bruno. He likes his big house in Berlin and the excitement of the city. The smaller house and the uneventful countryside displease him. Of course, the move is motivated by outside events. Bruno’s internal conflict over his living situation is created by the external conflict of World War II and the Holocaust. Bruno is mostly unaware of these conflicts. His biggest problem is not global war or genocide but the family's move. A topic sentence that aligns with this issue might read as follows:
Bruno’s dislike of his new home demonstrates how historical events can personally impact people in ways that seem relatively minor.
A second topic sentence could touch on Bruno’s loneliness. Amidst the devastation of World War II and the Holocaust, Bruno, in “Out-With,” struggles to find someone to hang out with. Eventually, he meets Shmuel, and the two of them become friends. Such a relationship isn’t supposed to happen in Nazi Europe. A topic sentence that addresses the gap between their relationship and what’s taking place in the world might read as follows:
Through the friendship of Bruno and Shmuel, John Boyne shows how internal conflicts can push one to deviate from the norms stipulated by external conflicts.
For additional topic sentences that spotlight internal and external conflicts, think about how the internal conflict between Bruno’s dad and grandma depends on the external conflict of Nazism, or consider how the death of Bruno can be seen as an internal conflict (it personally impacts Bruno’s family) and an external conflict (it's a result of the genocidal policies of the Nazis).