The Boy In The Striped Pyjama’s
Childhood is measured out by sounds and smells and sights, before the dark hour of reason grows- John Betjeman.
Childhood is measured out by sounds and smells and sights, before the dark hour of reason grows- John Betjeman. This idea is quite evident throughout The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas as it shows that children perceive things through their senses rather than in a more sophisticated adult-like way based on the opinion of society. Bruno, a young and naïve nine-year-old and Shmuel, a less innocent Jewish boy, make an amazing friendship that is purely based on love and they don’t care that they are supposed to hate each other according to society. However, Bruno’s Mother and Father are less naïve and create their relationships based on what Germany and the Fury want rather than deciding as individuals. In the book, Gretel makes a very noticeable change from being an innocent child, like Bruno, to more of a refined level like Mother and Father. Bruno is a young and innocent nine-year-old who relies on his “gut” for knowledge. When he discovers Shmuel, he finds out that they are the same age and share the same birthday. Because of, this he believes that this must make Shmuel a good person. Also, Bruno is not very knowledgeable and naïve and trusts almost everything he hears. In Chapter Twelve he notices Shmuel’s armband and compares it to his Father’s. “No one’s ever given me an armband…I think I’d quite like one.” (p.127). When Bruno says this to Shmuel, he sees the armband as this special accessory. However what he doesn’t realise is that they are there to define one’s place in society, the Star of David representing the Jews and the Swastika representing the Nazi Party. He also states says, “I don’t know which one I’d prefer, yours or Father’s.” (p.127). By this, the reader notices that Bruno does not quite grasp the fact that some people in World War II weren’t exactly considered as people....
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