set of striped pajamas behind a barbed wire fence

The Boy in the Striped Pajamas

by John Boyne

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Student Question

What lie does Bruno tell Maria in the kitchen in The Boy in the Striped Pajamas, and why?

Expert Answers

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In Chapter 13, Bruno is in the kitchen filling his pockets with bread and cheese when Maria comes in. Maria sees Bruno putting the food in his pockets and assumes that he has not been eating his food again. She knows Bruno already ate his lunch earlier that day, and cannot believe that he is still hungry. Bruno lies to Maria and tells her he is going for a walk, and that he might get "peckish" on the way. Maria shrugs her shoulders and continues to complete her work in the kitchen. Bruno lies to Maria because he does not want her finding out that he has been hanging out with his new friend, Shmuel. Bruno is cognizant of the fact that he will get into trouble if his parents ever find out that he is talking with a boy on the other side of the fence. He lies to Maria in order to protect his secret friendship with Shmuel. He does not want anyone finding out and telling his parents because he will lose the only friend he has at Out-With.

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