The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas by Alethea Chong | Critical Analysis

The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas is a novel that was written by John Boyne. It was first published in 2006. John Boyne was born in Ireland 1971 and is the author of six novels. His novels were published in over 30 languages. Because people were inspired by The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas, it has now been made into a featured film. The story The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas revolves around the friendship between a 9 year old German boy and a Jewish boy who is in the Auschwitz Concentration Camp.
Bruno the German boy is at Auschwitz because his father is the Commandant of the camp. This story shows Bruno’s innocence and the friendship between him and Shmuel. It also reveals the brutality of the Germans to the Jews in World War II. There are many themes that runs through the story of The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas. I have chosen friendship brutality and fear as the themes I will discuss. Friendship is the most important among the three major themes.
An example of the friendship between Bruno and Shmuel was shown by Bruno when he shared his food with Shmuel when he was hungry. Another example was when they played together and confided in each other. Thus a bond of friendship was developed. My final example of friendship was when Bruno helped Shmuel look for his Papa. Bruno had helped a friend in need. However, they did not succeed in finding Shmuel’s father. Both boys tragically ended their short lives in the gas chambers. Brutality is also one of the important themes in the novel.

This is clearly defined when Lieutenant Kotler has beaten Pavel up just because he had spilled some wine on the Lieutenant. Also, an example of brutality would be when Lieutenant Kotler hits Shmuel as he was unfairly accused of stealing food.. This is very brutal as no one should ever abuse a child even if they are Jewish. The last exampled of brutality is the way the Germans treat the Jews. They locked them up in death camps and concentration camps. The German were very brutal, they show no compassion or mercy to the Jews.
The last theme that I believe is important is fear. An example of fear was shown by Pavel. He was afraid to disrespect the Lieutenant as he was easily provoked and might do something unpleasant to Pavel. Lieutenant Kotler was also feared by Bruno and Shmuel. They had to be very careful with everything they said to him. They would be in deep trouble if Lieutenant Kotler found out the truth about their friendship. The final example of fear is how afraid the whole world is of the Nazis because they were very powerful. No one dared go against the Nazis.
In conclusion, I believe that this is an excellent and remarkable story. It shows how powerful friendship really is. It also demonstrates how brutal human behavior can be. Although the story’s ending was melancholy, there was always hope, friendship and love. I truly enjoyed this story, I learned something about history in a way that made me feel and sympathize for the innocent lives which were lost. The author did a terrific job by making the characters so realistic and interesting. The ending was very surprising and devastating.

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