In the novel The Boy in Striped Pajamas’ by John Boyne an interesting character is Bruno, he is interesting because he models and provides the solution to how the holocaust could have been prevented. He models the exact behaviors that we should exhibit if we wish for an event as horrific as this to never occur again. The author uses the naivety of Bruno’s voice to question both the rationality and morality of what is happening around him. Bruno challenges and questions what he is taught and doesn’t allow himself to be indoctrinated. This is shown when Bruno is curious to find things out for himself. Bruno is uncertain about the holocaust and remains innocent throughout the story but this doesn’t stop him from questioning and trying to find out more.
He says to his sister ‘then where are all the animals were talking about’ this proves that he uses his logical mind to make decisions for himself, we are also shown this from the quote ‘Bruno started to think more about the two sides of the fence and the reason it was there in the first place’. Bruno is curious to find out what is behind the fence, he keeps questioning Gretel and uses theoretical thinking to challenge his sister. In Bruno’s questioning we understand the truth which is infuriating but more clearly it shows the truth of the holocaust to us. Bruno starts to develop feelings and empathy for people around him when others are only able to worry about themselves.
Bruno begins to acknowledge people like Maria and Pavel for who he would not use to care for. We are told this in the text when Bruno says ‘for the first time he looked across at Maria and realized that he had never really considered her to be a person’. This is proving the fact that Bruno is not seeing things through the eyes of a Nazi boy but as a curious boy. He is different to the rest of Germany. Bruno is presented to us as a normal human boy who to makes mistakes, however he exemplifies the correct response required when we make a mistake, it must be fixed.
Bruno starts to develop forgiveness, he realizes is wrongs and wants to make things better. Bruno regrets what he did to Shmuel and desperately wants his forgiveness. We see this in the text when Bruno says to Shmuel ‘I’m sorry Shmuel, I don’t know why I did it, say you’ll forgive me’. This gives us the idea that Bruno does not think of Shmuel as a Jew but as a friend, he wants to be forgiven for his wrongs. He is unaware of the consequences Shmuel will suffer for his behavior. It is ironic that although Bruno’s mistake is a minor one yet he feels much guilt. When around the time thousands of Nazis were making even bigger ones, yet showed no remorse.
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