“Analyse, evaluate and compare the techniques used to dim the horror of the real life events discussed in the novel The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas and the film Life is Beautiful.”
The Holocaust was a distressing time in history and is not a story everyone can absorb. Both the book, The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas written by John Boyne and the film, Life is Beautiful, directed by Robert Benigni, are based upon the real life events of the Holocaust but with a difference. They made clever use of different techniques to dim and censor the reality of the events and interpret it in a more tolerable way. The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas depicts the life of a young nine year old boy named Bruno who is the son of the Commandant of the Auschwitz
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Even in this darker atmosphere, Guido turns it around by pulling out jokes and turning dark situations to light. This can be seen in a scene where Guido sees a microphone that is connected to the loudspeakers of the entire camp. He, with caution, approaches the microphone and cries out, “Good morning, princess! You're all I think about, princess!” Although things may seem dark, the viewer feels assurance and hope that everything will be alright. The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas also adds in a little humour, but not in a typical sort of way as shown in Life is Beautiful. This is shown when Bruno was talking to a Jew working in his house named Pavel. Bruno is unsure if he’s okay about his cut and tells Pavel he’s not even a doctor. Pavel reveals that he is. “I practised as a doctor.” Pavel explains. Unfamiliar with the word ‘practice’ Bruno asks, “Practised? Weren’t you any good then?” Bruno’s obliviousness and innocence gleams brightly enough that it dulls the horror of Pavel’s real life situation.
In summary, both Boyne and Benigni demonstrate great use of various techniques to dim the horrors of real life events. The characterization choice for both The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas and Life is Beautiful instantly affect the tone and view of the Holocaust. In the same way, innocence also significantly changes the views of the real life horrors, as can be seen in Bruno’s perspective towards the concentration camp. Humour is also used to dim the horrific