The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas

1 January 2017

Bruno uses the metaphor of the ‘leaking boat’ to remind Maria that everyone is stuck in a hopeless situation. They should work as a team to face the same problems that come about Maria defends Bruno’s father because he has provided her with a home and living. She feels indebted to father. Bruno begins to see Maria as an individual person. He begins to see that she must have a life outside of her relationship to his family. Bruno learns that Pavel was a doctor before he came to Out-With. Pavel explains that he wanted to be a doctor his whole life. Bruno also suspects that Pavel wore a beard at some point.

When Pavel says, “Just because a man glances up at the sky at night does not make him an astronomer
” He is trying to imply that Although Bruno believes mother is trying to take credit for Pavel’s caretaking, she is actually protecting Pavel from harm if the soldiers discover that he initiated interaction and conversation with Bruno.

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Pavel is very courteous and respectful to Bruno as shown when he calls him, “young man”, unlike Kotler who is quite in`solent and disrespectful to Bruno when he calls him “little man”, which may also suggest he is referring to him as small and insignificant.

Mother goes up to him and kisses him on the cheek and comments on the fineness of the fabric that the uniform is made from. She later compliments her husband for looking ‘very handsome in his new uniform’. Grandfather too, is supportive of his son’s military occupation and is proud thathe has been ‘elevated to such a responsible position’. He praises his son saying that it makes him ‘proud’ that the country’s pride is being reclaimed. Grandmother is unimpressed by her son’s appearance and recent promotion.

Her son’s loyalty to the Nazi caused a huge disappointment to her. Grandmother thinks that her son has become so involved in his military activities and enthusiasm to develop in his career that he doesn’t see that he has been manipulated by the Nazis –like a puppet on a string’- into doing terrible things and not ‘caring’ about their implications. Her husband is bitter and angry about the suffering that the Germans had to face after the Great War and is also focused on reclaiming the pride of the country.

Her daughter-in-law is focused on how smart and handsome her husband looks. However, in Grandmother’s mind, what is ‘of importance’ is the widespread suffering that the Nazis have caused. Grandmother expresses her strong opposition to her son’s occupation, accusing him of ‘not even caring’ about the consequences his job brings. Grandmother recognises the harm that the Nazis have inflicted on the world- ‘doing the terrible, terrible things you do’.

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The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas. (2017, Jan 20). Retrieved May 20, 2019, from
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