Title: The Boy in Striped Pyjamas Author: John Boyne Type: Novel Personal Response: I personally found this novel, ‘The Boy in Striped Pyjamas’, very grasping and informative. I found myself reluctant to put it down. The fact that is was told from first person perspective helped me understand what it was like to see things unfold through the main character Bruno’s eyes. It will linger in my mind for quite some time. There wasn’t a moment throughout the story that I thought was unnecessary. It was a shocking, yet thought provoking novel.
It made me think about the theme of loss and I wanted to explore how the author related this to Bruno. It intrigued me that this story was actually very reflective of reality. It fascinated me how the main character, a nine year old boy named Bruno was so unaware of the awful events which were unfolding around him. For example, Bruno believes that Pavel is just another worker around the house. He does not know that Pavel is actually a Jewish prisoner who is often beaten by a family friend / soldier called Lieutenant Kurt Kotler.
This made me realise, that often our parents protect us from terrible things that happen around us. They mislead young Bruno and gave him a false sense of reality which relates to loss in the form of being clueless to what is truly happening. When Bruno explored his ‘Farm’ he came across a fence, on the other side was Shumuel, the innocent Jewish boy in striped pyjamas, who had also experienced loss and grief when his family had been killed. They became very tight. “You’re my best friend, Shumuel, ‘Bruno said, ‘my best friend for life”.
These words just so happen to be the very last words that those young innocent boys exchanged. And even then in those last moments of life, young Bruno still had no idea of what was actually going on around him, he believe they were having showers when in reality they were locked in gas chambers. This relates to a theme of loss. Bruno had lost his right to understand what was going on with his life and his family, he lost his childhood due to the fact he was living in the middle of a war but most importantly he lost his innocence.
In the world today, there is still fighting, wars and killing going on right under our noses but because we are not directly affected, we think it is not our issue. I would like to make a difference, by bringing peace to our world to make it a better place for all and I believe that it is possible. I hope that when Bruno died, it made his father realise that he was killing innocent people. It was a lesson to him and proved he wouldn’t want to do it to his family so he shouldn’t do it to anybody.
The Boy in Striped Pyjamas is a very good story, you see war through the eyes of a Nazi son. World War Two interests me a lot, because of the story of Anne Frank. It’s because she had the same age as I have. Especially this story grabs me because the main person is a little boy, whom has no experiences of war, and doesn’t know what happen. I would recommend this novel, because of its sweeping story.