Boy in the Striped Pyjamas Essay

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Boy in the Striped Pyjamas essay
The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas shows us that ignorance can be bliss, but once you become aware of your own ignorance, the illusion shatters. It also shows us that ignorance can be dangerous. Bruno is unaware of the horrible situation in ‘Out-with’, which he is quite happy to imagine as a lovely place to stay with friends. But when he starts to learn more about the Jews, he betrays his friend. Finally, Bruno unwittingly walks into danger, because neither he nor Shmuel are aware of the hazard. These points show that ignorance is often blissful, but it can also be incredibly dangerous.

Ignorance can be bliss, which is shown by Bruno when he talks to Shmuel about the camp, Auschwitz (which Bruno calls Out-With). Bruno imagines the camp as a nice, friendly farm in which the residents spend the day playing with their friends. This is evidenced when Bruno comments, “It’s so unfair. I don’t see why I have to be stuck over here where there’s no one to talk to and no one to play with and you get to have dozens of friends and are probably playing for hours every day. I’ll have to speak to father about it.” (page 110-11). If Bruno knew the truth at this point, he’d probably be wary of Shmuel, and avoid talking to him. That would mean he’d never make friends, and he’d be miserable for his entire stay at the house. This demonstrates that sometimes not knowing is for the best, as you could hear information that would spoil your enjoyment of the experience. Ignorance most certainly can be blissful.

Ignorance is bliss, but the realisation that you have been ignorant is certainly not. When you discover that you have perceived everything in the wrong light, everything you thought was correct will fall away and reveal the truth. There are many examples of this in Boy in the Striped Pyjamas. When Gretel, Herr Lizst and his father start implying that Jews are evil and are not their friends, Bruno begins to question his friendship with...
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