“Set during World War II, a story seen through the innocent eyes of Bruno, the eight-year-old son of the commandant at a concentration camp, whose forbidden friendship with a Jewish boy on the other side of the camp fence has startling and unexpected consequences. ” The story of the boy in the striped pajamas deals with moral disagreement, desire for power, and racial discrimination that was at the heart of World War II. At the same time that everyone now sees the errors of the way of the German Soldiers we have to take into consideration the dominance that Hitler had during this war.
Anyone who crossed him was quickly beaten down for his/her decision, and this was made known to the public intentionally. I think that at the same time that you can clearly see the wrongdoing here of the commandant by contributing to the whole mess you also must take into consideration that he is trying to meet the standards of society while still protecting his family. At this time period is was socially acceptable, in fact even encouraged, to talk badly about the Jews and encourage what was going on in the prison camps. As we see in the movie Bruno’s sister quickly learns to hate the Jews as the rest of society.
It is taught to her that they (the Germans) are the higher power and better race. Therefore she believes it, she is conforming to the thoughts of society. Bruno, however, is not old enough to understand the same ideas yet so he sees nothing wrong with them and has not yet learned to distinguish between them and have the same prejudice towards the Jews as the rest of the dominant group. I feel as though the functionalist perspective covered everything that went on during World War II. It had some good definitions on what was happening in each case in a sociological perspective.
“Cultural assimilation, or acculturation, occurs when members of an ethnic group adopt dominant-group traits, such as language, dress, values, religion, and food preferences. ” This concept is being used with the German people in the case of the story of The Boy in the Striped Pajamas. The Germans are being forced to conform to the values and traits of the Nazi party. If the Germans don’t do so they are punished with the same cruelty that is used against their “Enemy” the Jews. Also coming from the functionalist perspective is racial segregation.
“Segregation is the spatial and social separation of categories of people by race, ethnicity, class, gender, and/or religion. ” There was a very strong portrayal of the racial segregation in the movie of The Boy In the Striped Pajamas, there was a scene in the movie where one of the Jews from the concentration camps comes into Bruno’s home and the family was not only startled but also portrayed their disgust with him because of his race. You could very obviously tell that he was malnourished and we also saw some of the mistreatment and abuse in one of the scenes. All of this just because of race and the belief that one is superior to another.
Courtney from Study Moose
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