Puppets on a String

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Puppets on a string
The novel “The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas” was written by John Boyne. Although the characters in the book are fictional the events that occur in the novel are to some extent are based on stuff that actually happened. It’s clear that almost every character in the book is a “puppet on a string.”

The young lieutenant Kotler who is around twenty years old has been brainwashed as kid is clearly a puppet on a string. He orders the Jews around mercilessly and doesn’t hesitate to teach them a lesson by beating them up if the disobey him. He would use language so harsh towards the Jews is would make Bruno look away and feel ashamed to be a part of it. Unlike his father the young lieutenant agreed with what the fury was doing. Kotler plays an important role as he is mostly responsible for brainwashing Gretel.

Gretel who is only twelve moved to with her family. She is influenced by her surroundings. She goes from being an innocent girl who plays with dolls to a girl who hangs up maps of Germany on her wall and pinpoint the locations of where the troop of German were. Even though she has been brainwashed she still can’t explain what the Jews are or why she hates them. “We’re … we’re… well we’re not Jews” is the answer she gives to her little brother Bruno when he asks what they are if they aren’t Jews. Her tutor Her Liszt is also influential on Gretel. He refers to Germany as “the Fatherland” and tells Gretel to keep up her good work when she started posting up poster of German maps on her wall.

Unlike his older sister Gretel, Bruno isn’t completely brainwashed. He imitates his father sometimes as he tell his friend Shmuel “…Germany is the greatest of all countries. We’re superior”. He is still nine so he hasn’t been completely brainwashed like Kotler has been. His surroundings haven’t influenced him much even though he hated being at camp outwith. One day he was perfectly content, playing at home, sliding down banisters, trying to stand on...
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