The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas

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John Boyne’s novel, The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas, concerns human brutality. Courage, loyalty and love, however, are more important as themes in the novel. Do you agree? John Boyne’s novel, The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas, is a touching story, based on real events that have happened in the past. Although it concerns aspects of human brutality, in the end it shows us that courage, loyalty and love are far more important themes in this story. In this novel, examples of courage, loyalty and love are common throughout, emphasizing that these themes override the theme of brutality. Courage is displayed by the two protagonists of this story – Bruno, the son of a Nazi commander and Shmuel, a young Jewish boy who is sent to a concentration camp. These two young boys express loyalty and love for each other, and although they perish in the hands of the Nazis, they still do this hand in hand. This novel brings a sign of hope to readers, who realize while reading this book, that although human brutality is no doubt an important concept, the themes of courage, loyalty and love are stressed to be far more important notions that the author wants us to see. There is also a sense of redemption in this book, as in the final pages, Bruno’s father, the Nazi commandant of the large concentration camp in Auschwitz, realizes that his own son has been unintentionally killed by his very own doing, and that he, in short, has killed his own child. In displaying his anguish, his figure is diminished and made to seem much more human, as his character is forgiven for what he has done. In this novel, brutality is a consistent theme. This novel is set during World War II, a time of bleakness and hopelessness for people of a Jewish race. John Boyne wants us to see the subtle brutality of the events that happened in this period, but also wants us to realize that although this brutality does exist, it is dominated by courage, loyalty and love. One horrifying incident of brutality within this...
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