Narrative Techniques in the Boy in the Striped Pyjamas Essay

Words: 911
Pages: 4

Narrative Techniques in
The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas

The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas is a novel by John Boyne. This novel is set during World War 2 and explores themes such as prejudice, racism, war, innocence and friendship. What sets it apart from other novels is that it uses a third person limited point of view, and mostly depicts events as they are seen by a young and naïve boy. This was one of the main narrative conventions that engaged me in this novel.

The point of view is the most interesting and important narrative convention of this novel. It is written in third person limited mostly from Bruno, the young boys, perspective. This means it does not use ‘I’ or ‘we’ but we do get to find out what the main character is
…show more content…
This is not supposed to be realistic, it is supposed to show the parallel between these children and that they could have just been born to different parents and had massively different lives. I think Boyne is trying to show that it is senseless to separate these people and treat one as sub-human when they are very similar to one another and Shmuel has done nothing wrong. The fence that separates them is symbolic as on each side there sits a very similar nine-year old boy, but they are not allowed to cross over and the things that happen on one side are massively different to those that happen on the other. It is as if the fence is a distorted mirror, showing the same person but in diametrically opposed worlds.

The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas is a novel that manages to delve into one of history’s darkest hours, but still remains in many ways, endearing and heart warming. It does this through use of powerful narrative techniques such as symbolism and a very interesting point of view. It explores a variety of very different themes, such as and war and friendship, prejudice and innocence, which allows Boyne to show us this time from a different perspective. This is what makes it really affect the reader, and will mean its message will live on for