The Boy In The Striped Pyjamas Essay

Words: 744
Pages: 3

In the 2006 John Boyne novel ‘The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas’, that is set in the time of WWII, a nine-year-old boy is forced to move, because of his father’s job, from his home in Berlin to ‘Out-With’ a Nazi Concentration Camp, where he befriends a Jewish boy. ‘The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas’ is set in a difficult time and shows that the best of humanity is possible, even in the most trying circumstances, while also displaying humanity’s imperfections. The best human qualities are shown by Bruno, Shmuel, and partially by Gretel through acceptance, friendship, and respect. The worst human qualities are shown slightly by Gretel and more with Ralf through indoctrination, prejudice, and dehumanisation.

The best human quality in ‘The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas’ is the friendship between Bruno and Shmuel and their acceptance with one another despite what society is telling them, and all the prejudice and discrimination towards the Jewish people. The idea of friendship and acceptance towards each other, despite what is happening around them, prevails even when Bruno discovers it is wrong. Bruno and Shmuel’s friendship contradicts all the ideas and beliefs in the Nazi Party Manifesto. This act of defiance and Bruno’s awareness of it shows in a conversation with Shmuel at the fence when Bruno says ‘we’re
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Bruno and Shmuel’s friendship shows that anyone can be friends even when society tells them it is wrong, Gretel shows us that you can show the best human qualities but it can be for the wrong people, and Ralf shows us how the very worst of humanity emerges in the most trying circumstances. The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas is a novel that shows us the very worst of humanity, but when everything seems lost that is when the absolute best of humanity shines through and gives light in a time of