The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas

Topics: Change, Jews, Israel Pages: 3 (905 words) Published: May 18, 2013
‘He has a lot of kindness in his soul, truly he does, which makes me wonder...’ Discuss the ways in which war changes people.

During John Boyne's novel, ‘The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas’ readers are exposed to characters that have been effected by the war. These changes vary between characters, some being effected emotionally where others might've been effected mentally and or physically, but the changes in the various characters due to the war are most definitely there. Father, Herr Roller and Pavel have the most evident changes throughout this novel as the war has effected their views and personalities immensely and are excellent examples of how war does change people.

Father has been described as once having 'a lot of kindness in his soul' prior to the war ad he took Maria, a Jew, into his home. However after the war and being assigned his 'important job' he started to believe that Jews were 'not people at all' and that is how the war changed him. Father might believe himself to be 'a patriot' by helping his 'country reclaim her pride after all the great wrongs that were done to her', but in truth he was just a 'puppet on a string' as his compassion towards misfortunate people, much like Maria who he used to think as 'family', flew right out the window after returning home from the 'Great War'. Perhaps he thought the 'handsome' uniform made him 'something special' without the slightest concern for 'what is stands for', but the war still changed him as he no longer cared 'what it [the uniform] means' aft being such a 'great man' before going out to 'serve for' his 'country'.

Another example of how war changed people is from the 'injury' Herr Roller received during 'the Great War'. From previously being described as a 'lovely man' Herr Roller is now the man everyone referred to as being 'crazy' since he had 'terrible arguments with himself' in public. This form of insanity is hardly his fault as he 'suffered a terrible injury...to his head' whilst he was...
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