The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas Portfolio

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* Project portfolio by
Sophie Rothen

Table of contents

Introduction| 3|
Book report| 4|
Main characters| 5|
Themes| 7|
New book covers| 9|
Words and Phrases| 10|
Reflection| 11|
Film review| 12|
Interview| 14|
Song interpretation| 16|
Peer assessment| 18|
Vocabulary| 20|
Self evaluation| 22|

Introduction

This portfolio documents my dealing with the book “The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas”, written by John Boyne, and the corresponding film, which was released in 2008. The reason I chose this particular material is the following: I saw the film before reading the book, which, as I see it, is not the right way to do, because instead of imagining all features, the characters, the settings and so on by yourself, you already have the faces of the actors, or the specific place where the film was made in your mind while reading. This spoils my favorite thing about reading, which is building my own fantasy world based on my imaginations embellished by the descriptions in a book. Surprisingly, this was no problem for me with this book. I can clearly remember the day I saw the film with some friends, we went into the cinema without knowing what the movie was about, were all happy and cheerful – but as we left the cinema hall, none of us was able to say a word, trying to hold back the tears in our eyes. Since it does not happen too often that a movie makes me cry, I figured this was a very special one. Reading the book afterwards, it was still very moving and definitely well written. Especially the fact that it shows one of the horrors of the Second World War through the eyes of an eight-year-old boy makes it – as said by “the Guardian” and can be read on the cover – a small wonder of a book. I think this portfolio could help me improve numerous skills, most of all my writing skills, of course. I want to show that I can write clear, understandable texts suitable for 7th form. There will surely also be problems I have to face, such as finding the right words to express myself, structuring my ideas and putting them into words. But the hardest thing I will have to deal with is my sense of self-criticism, which makes it difficult to really convince myself in the end that my work is good enough. Nonetheless, I think I will be good at creating a nice layout, and I know that my English is pretty much okay for my age (although there is always something to improve) which will make it worth reading in the end. Book report

Basic Facts
Title: The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas (also: Pajamas)
Author: John Boyne
Published by: David Fickling Books
Place and date of first publication: Great Britain, 2006
Main Characters
Bruno: 9-year-old German boy, friendly, sometimes naïve, adventurous Shmuel: 9-year-old Polish boy, a Jew, kept in a concentration camp Bruno’s father: German Commandant, very determined, convinced Nazi Bruno’s mother: affectionate woman, wants to protect her kids from the horrors of the war, disapproves yet respects her husband’s work Gretel: Bruno’s 12-year-old sister, starts worshipping Hitler and his beliefs Plot

The story is about the profound friendship between two nine-year-old boys during the times of World War Two. One of them is Bruno, a German boy, who is forced to move away from his beloved house in Berlin to a forlorn place called “Out-With” because of his father’s job. All he knows about the work is that his father is a very important man and that “the Fury” (as Bruno misunderstands the word “Fuehrer”) has great things for him in mind. From his bedroom window in the new home, he sees people behind a fence, all wearing striped pyjamas. One day, Bruno decides to go for a walk and meets Shmuel, a Polish boy living on the other side of the fence. The two boys soon make friends, even though a friendship like this is sheer impossible and forbidden. Because what they do not know is that Shmuel lives in a...
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