The boy in the striped pyjamas

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by Newcastle56
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The boy in the striped pyjamas

The Wider World and MeAOIFE HARRIGAN 8.1

Throughout the text, Boyne highlights the value of friendship. He does so through strong characteriastion. one example of this is when Father asks Bruno if he would prefer to go back to Berlin, and Bruno, not wanting to leave Shmuel, makes up all kinds of excuses to stay at 'Out-With' such as "'I'd prefer if all of us were to stay together'". This shows how Bruno has realised how much more meaningful his relationship is with Shmuel. More so than his previous "best friends for life" of which he "could hardly remember what they looked like". The friendship of Bruno and Shmuel is also used as a vehicle to explore innocence, particularly in times adversity.

In the novel The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas, John Boyne explores a sense of friendship, innocence in a time of war and unrest, and boundaries. He conveys this to the reader through the use of powerful sensory imagery and symbolism, and through dialogue and character representations.



In the novel, Boyne explores boundaries. He uses the technique of symbolism to display to the reader how boundaries seperate us, but can also be overcome. The fence is a literal barrier, seperating the two worlds of Bruno and Shmuel, but it is also a powerful symbol of the terrible divide between the lifestyles upperclass Germans and the way the Jewish people were treated. When Bruno crossed onto the other side of the fence, it was as if he was breaking down this barrier. When Bruno put on the pyjamas, "It was almost as if they were the same." two boys, both with shaved heads, both wearing the same pyjamas and both with even the same birthdate. This is a very big symbol of how everyone, in a way, is not so different from each other. Boyne also uses sensory imagery to contrast between Bruno's family's garden and the concentration camp. The garden was described as "full of flowers that grew in neat and orderly sections" and past the flowers there was a very pleasant pavement with a wooden bench. This is contrasting to "there was no greenery to be seen in the distance" and "there was nothing but low huts and dull, square buildings". In essence, the garden is a symbol of another barrier, dividing the worlds of Bruno and Shmuel, until it seemed impossible for one to contact the other.

Another powerful issue portrayed in The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas is that of innocence. Boyne communicates this to the reader through the simplicity of language and the dialogue between Bruno and Shmuel, and other characters, as well as having the novel written largely from the perspecive of a nine year old boy. For instance, when Bruno and his family moved to 'Out-With', he told is father, in a very blunt way, "' I don't like it here'" and then went to question that if Father was so good at his job, why would they send him to "such an awful place" and suggested that "if he asked very nicely, the fury might forgive" his father and let them move back to Berlin. Also, in a conversation with Shmuel, Bruno asks "'Why are there so many people on that side of the fence, and what are you all doing there?'". This positions the reader to understand just how sheltered Bruno is from the truth, so much so that he cannot ask his own sister or his parents.Boyne also uses the technique of repetition to convey the issue of innocence. Bruno is often said to frequently use phrases he has heard other adults use, such as "'Why don't we just chalk it up to an experience'" and "Out of bounds at all times with no exeptions'", this is very child-like and often associated with naivety.

Throughout The Boy in the Stripedx Pyjamas, John Boyne uses powerful imagery and symbolism, dialogue and character representations to portray to the reader the concepts of friendship, innocence at times of adversity, and boundaries. the use of these issues and the techniques that were used to suggest them engaged the reader and led them to see a deeper meaning behind the text.




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