Sociological Movie Review: Boy in the Striped Pajamas

Topics: Nazi Germany, Judaism, Germany Pages: 5 (1745 words) Published: June 17, 2010
Sociological Movie Review
The movie that I watched that has many references to our introduction to sociology course is The Boy In the Striped Pajamas. The Boy In the Striped Pajamas is about a little 8 year old boy named Bruno who must move to the country side with his family because his father who is a General in the Nazi military becomes assigned command of a Jewish concentration camp. The house that the family moves into is close to the concentration camp; Bruno can see the camp from his bedroom window in the distance. Bruno does not realize it is a concentration camp, he believes it is a farm. He sees a little boy sitting down at the camp and asks his mother if he may play with the boy in the striped pajamas. Of course his mother realizes what he is speaking about and forbids him to play out back or to go exploring in the country. Bruno finds a way out into the back and goes to the camp where he meets Schmuel (the boy in the striped pajamas). They become friends and Bruno sneaks him food each time he comes for a visit. Bruno asks his dad about the people at the farm and the dad says, “Those people aren’t really people at all.” One day Schmuel is sent to Bruno’s house to clean the crystal. Bruno is excited to see Schmuel in his house. They are caught talking and Schmuel gets in trouble. When Bruno is asked if he knows Schmuel, Bruno says no for fear of getting in trouble. A few days later Bruno goes back to the camp to apologize to Schmuel and tell him that he is moving away. Schmuel is very sad as he tells Bruno that he can’t seem to find his dad. Bruno comes up with a plan that he will disguise himself as one of the Jewish campers and dig under the fence to help Schmuel find his dad before he leaves. So the next day Schmuel meets Bruno at the fence with a pair of striped pajamas and Bruno digs a hole big enough for him to crawl into the camp. Bruno put on the striped pajamas and was amazed at his realization about what camp life was really like. Bruno told Schmuel that he thought he should go home but remembered his promise to help Schmuel find his father. Schmuel and Bruno went into one of the huts to look for his father when a group of Nazi soldiers came into the hut and gathered up all of the Jewish occupants. Bruno and Schmuel were taken with the group to the gas chamber. By the time Bruno’s parents had figured out what was going on it was too late. Bruno and Schmuel had held hands together in the gas chamber until the very end.

The reason this movie relates so strongly to sociological concepts is because it incorporates cultures, gender identity, sexism, racial and ethnic diversity, as well as aging and dying.
In the movie The Boy In the Striped Pajamas there are many cultures represented. The little boy Bruno must live within the mix of these cultures. Thio states that “Culture is a design for living or, more precisely, a complex whole consisting of objects, values, and other characteristics that people aquire as members of a society” (43). Each of the cultures represented in this movie have different beliefs and values. The first culture represented was the Germans, who believed as a whole that the Jewish people were all bad. They believed that taking the Jewish people from their homes and sending them away to concentration camps would make their lives better. In the beginning of the movie there is a scene where Nazi soldiers were gathering up Jewish people and sending them away. The next culture present in the movie is the Jewish culture. These people believe they have done nothing to deserve what is happening to them. When Bruno first meets Schmuel at the camp he asks if the barbed wire is to stop the animals from getting out. Schmuel replies,” It’s to stop me from getting out.” Bruno says, “What have you done?” Schmuel then replies, “I’m a Jew.” The very last culture and social group present in this movie is the German Military.

The German Military is indeed a...
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