set of striped pajamas behind a barbed wire fence

The Boy in the Striped Pajamas

by John Boyne

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Can you describe Bruno's behaviors and qualities in The Boy in the Striped Pajamas?

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In the novel, The Boy With the Striped Pajamas, Bruno is a youngster who is beautifully naive and innocent as the world around him is overrun by the evil the Nazis in World War II. Although his parents try to protect him by identifying places that are "off limits," Bruno is childlike in his need to investigate forbidden territories and to test his boundaries. The child within also lets Bruno's heart make decisions for him. For instance, Shmuel and Bruno become fast friends because Bruno is able to see someone very much like himself, ignoring the fence and Shmuel's unusual attire. When Bruno meets Hitler, his heart tells him that he does not like the man; and as a guileless youngster, without needing a logical reason for his decision, Bruno cannot warm up to "the Fury," as his sister does.

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