When I bought the book, The Boy In The Striped Pyjamas by John Boyne and started reading I did not expect much of it. I started out thinking that it was only a simple story about the Holocaust. As I read it, I felt increasingly involved by a friendship made possible by a nine year old German boy who's innocence transcended racial and ideological barriers and proved that prejudice is not an inherent human trait.
Everybody is a person with feelings so no matter their color, status, race, sex or size there is never any reason for discrimination and prejudice. Bruno was a German boy from an affluent family who by all conventions should have looked down upon and even despised a poor Jewish boy. He was innocent and naive regarding the reasons for the war and as such, was able to befriend Shmuel with none of his countrymen's hate and racism intact. In my mind, a friend is someone who can be trusted, is loyal, who listens and gives support regardless of the circumstances. Shmuel needed a friend and although he had lost some of his innocence through the atrocities he had encountered and had every reason to hate the Germans, he readily accepted Bruno's friendship which was offered with all the prerequisite qualities that one might hope for in a friend. Bruno, who had been forced to leave his old friends behind, was eager to cultivate a relatioinship with the Jewish boy despite the conditions in which they found themselves. In the gas chamber as the two of them faced death, Bruno continued to demonstrate his friendship by holding Shmuel's hand but also put on full display the innocence and naivete that allowed the friendship to flourish.
Bruno showed in his interactions with, The Fury, his sister and his tutor as well through the use of terms such as, Out-With, that he was completely innocent and naive to what was actually going on around him. Even in the end he thought that the gas chamber was a shelter where they would be allowed to rest. While innocence in Bruno's case...
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