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I think that the friendship between both boys can be described as real.

Their friendship is
one that cuts through social distinctions, religious distinctions, and historical
conditions. Both boys fill a need for companionship in the other. It is for this reason that
their friendship is real and valid. In displaying a friendship that transcends existing
conditions, one is reminded of what can be. This is where the ultimately real quality of the
boys' friendship exists.
In one respect, their friendship is real because both boys mirror one another. This is seen in
the most literal of senses when Bruno has to have his head shaven because of lice. This can
also be seen when he accompanies Shmuel on their "adventure" as Bruno crosses the
fence. Symbolically, their friendship is real as they both confess to the other that neither of
them "like" Auschwitz. Bruno and Shmuel recognize at that moment that their friendship is
the only thing sustaining them through the horror of Auschwitz. When they are herded into
the gas chamber together, the midst of terror is where their friendship achieves their greatest
significance. When Bruno tells Shmuel that he is his "best friend for life," when fear and
terror grip both of them, it is a reminder as to how real their friendship actually is. In the
end, this becomes the word to describe their friendship. Both boys actually die in one
another's arms, with only the comfort of the other to offset the terror of death in the gas
chamber. Their friendship carries both boys beyond the fear of a lonely death in the
Holocaust. This indicates how real their friendship was.
Sources:

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melissa1106 | Student, Grade 11 | Salutatorian


Posted July 27, 2014 at 11:20 PM (Answer #2)

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There is a true friendship between Bruno and Shmuel in the boy in the striped pajamas.
They are both innocent, naive boys that do not care for the cultural differences between one
another and just appreciate what they have in common. Bruno is always there to keep
Shmuel company and to play games together. They stay loyal to each and help each other
even when it leads them to their demise.

Characterizations
Bruno
Bruno is a nine year old boy and the protagonist of the book. At the beginning of the book he
lives with his family in Berlin, but later he has to move to Out-With (Auschwitz) because of his
fathers new job, even though he does not really want to.
When he was in Berlin, he had three friends he really liked: Karl, Martin and Daniel. But after
living some time in Out-With, he even forgot their names. He has a good relationship with the
maid, Maria. They talk a lot and she even told him things she was not allowed to. He has a
tense relationship with his family, especially since they moved. His parents are very strict,
especially his father. For example he must not interrupt, when his mother talks. He does not
really know a lot about his fathers job, except that he is a soldier. Bruno does not really like
his sister Gretel. He always calls her a hopeless case. Later, in Out-With, he meets Shmuel,
a boy living in a concentration camp. He does not tell anyone about him, because he knew
something was not alright with him. Shmuel and Bruno become very good friends. Sometimes
Bruno even brought Shmuel some food.
Bruno likes exploring, reading and art. He even likes football and he loves eating chocolate,

even though his mother told him it rots his teeth. Bruno hates crying, because he then feels
like a baby. At first Bruno does not really like Out-With, but when time passes by he gets used
to it and later he even feels home in Out-With.
In my opinion Bruno is a naive, open-minded and kind-hearted boy, who loves to explore new
things.
Shmuel
Shmuel is nine years old. He is a Jewish boy from Poland and was born on 15th April 1934. The
little boys skin is almost grey and he has very large eyes with the colour of caramel sweets.
He is skinny and also looks very sad. Shmuel has to live in the concentration camp out-with
(Auschwitz) with his Jewish father and brother. His Father made watches. His mother was a
teacher, who could speak English, German, French and Italian. She made a bracelet with a
star on, which Shmuel wears, but she was taken away to another camp only for women. In the
concentration camp they have to wear striped clothes, which look like striped pyjamas.
Shmuel is The Boy in The Striped Pyjamas.
Shmuel sits at the fence of the camp most of the time. One day Bruno and Shmuel meet at
the fence and become friends. Now they meet at the fence every afternoon, Shmuel on the
one side, Bruno on the other side. Bruno always takes food from his home, which Shmuel can
eat then. Shmuel is more mature than Bruno. He has a big knowledge of this horrible
situation. The outside world makes it look as if its nice to live in a concentration camp and
Bruno thinks so too. But Shmuel, who really lives in such a camp, knows better.
I was really sad that Shmuel died in the end, because he was my favourite person in this
book.
Gretel
Gretel is a 12 year old girl from Berlin. She lives together at Out-With (Poland) with her
younger brother, Bruno, her mother and her father, who is a commandant. Her grandparents,
who are her fathers parents, still live in Berlin. While living at Out-With her grandmother
dies in Berlin.
The relationship between Gretel and her brother is not quite good because they always fight.
Gretel is glad that she is older than her brother because she has got a reason to bully him.
Gretel has got three best friends, Hilda, Isobel and Louise who still live in Berlin. She really
misses them because at Out-With she does not have any good friends. Thats why the
relationship between Gretel and her brother gets a bit better during the time in Out-With:
Bruno stood up and for the first time they stood there together, shoulder to shoulder, and
stared at what was happening not fifty feet away from their home (p36).
Due to the fact that Gretel likes dolls she collects them. She has got four large bags of dolls
which she has positioned in a shelf. One day she throws them all away because she decides to
hang up maps of Europe. Gretel decided that she didnt like dolls anymore and had put them
all into four large bags and thrown them away. In their place she had hung up maps of Europe
that Father had given her, and every day she put little pins into them and moved the pins
around constantly after consulting the daily newspaper (p. 180). This aspect shows that
during the time in Out-With her character changes and she becomes older and more mature.
While living at Out-With she gets to know Lieutnant Ktoler who is a man. They both like each
other and always talk. One day Kotler leaves Out-With and Gretel is quite sad about it.
To conclude you can say that Gretel believes everything she hears and that she tries to
behave more mature than she actually is. She feels like a teenager but she is just twelve
years old.
Brunos mother
Brunos mother isnt a protagonist like Bruno or Shmuel in the novel The Boy in the Striped
Pyjamas. Shes a member of the Hoess family. She is a tall woman with long red hair that
she often bundles into a sort of net behind her head (page 1). She sometimes is nervous
when she has to talk about serious things. (page 2). Brunos mother is married to Ralf, who is
a commandant in the Nazi Army. She has two children, who are called Bruno and Gretel. She

is a very good mother because she always tries to care for them. Brunos mother hates her
husbands job. During the novel she wants to take her children back to Berlin because she
thinks that Out-With, which alludes to the concentration camp in Auschwitz, is no place to
raise young children. With regard to his job she is very obedient, because she is very upset
with how the Nazis treat the Jews. At the beginning of the novel she tries to explain to Bruno
how important the fathers job is. He earns the money for the family.
Brunos mother is helpful and polite, just like a role model-mother. During the story she is
always there for her children and helps them to get through the situation.
In my opinion Brunos mother is a good mother to her children but in the novel she doesnt
play such a big role, because there are other characters that are more important than she is.
I personally think that she is important for Brunos family, because it seems to me that she is
very accountable for her family and holds them together during this bad time. In my opinion
she wants to help Bruno and Gretel to get through this horrible situation. You can see that its
difficult for her to move to another place, even if she partly knows what will happen in the
future.
All in all I can say that Brunos mother is an open-minded (?) and friendly person, who is an
important member of the family and tries to get through all situations, even if there were
some little problems.
Brunos Father (Ralf Hoess):
Ralf Hoess is the father of Bruno and Gretel. He is a commandant in the Nazi-Army.
He is a strict, patriotic person who does not like Jewish people. When he gets a better job, he
and his family have to move to Out-With. He is very unfriendly to his Jewish butler, Pavel.
His behaviour towards his wife has changed, since his wife knows what has happened with the
Jewish people. If she did not know what happened with them, she would like the SS and
the work of his husband, but now she has a different opinion than the one he has.
His son Bruno does not like him and he is not of the opinion of the Nazis, too. Ralf is very
strict to his son and he wants him to think like him, but he is too young to understand the
situation and he does not see the difference between the Jews and himself. His daughter
Gretel is the only person of his family, who is of the same opinion. She believes everything he
tells her. He is very powerful and strict to his Army. In the end, he kills his son accidently,
because he wants to gasify the Jews in his concentration camp.
Lieutenant Kotler
Lieutenant Kotler is a lieutenant in the Nazi Army who spends a great deal of time with the
Hoess Family. He is 19 years old and very boastful. Lieutenant Kotler enjoys talking with
Gretel and he is greatly disliked by Bruno. He hates Pavel very much and treats him badly.
Pavel spills wine on Lieutenant Kotler`s uniform so he kills him. Lieutenant Kotler is
eventually transferred to a different camp, which makes Bruno very happy.

The Boy in the Striped Pajamas is a fictional tale of the unlikeliest of friends: the son of
a Nazi commandant and a Jewish concentration camp inmate. Written by John Boyne
and published in 2006 by David Fickling Books, the story was made into a major
motion picture in 2008.
The novel, set in Nazi Germany, begins when nine-year-old Bruno and his family must
move from their lovely home in Berlin to a new house in an unfamiliar place called
"Out-With." Tempted to explore his new environment, Bruno is told that there are
certain places that are "Out Of Bounds At All Times And No Exceptions." Unable to
fight his adventuresome spirit, however, Bruno ventures forth into the unknown one
afternoon.
Bruno comes upon a fence that he follows until he sees a young boy sitting on the other
side of the fence. The shoeless boy is wearing striped pajamas and a cloth cap. Bruno

also notices that the boy is wearing an armband with a star on it. Bruno makes fast
friends with the boy, Shmuel, and they quickly discover that they share the same
birthday. The boys discuss their families and where they are from. At the end of their
first meeting, Bruno asks Shmuel why there are so many people on his side of the fence
and what they are doing there. A few days later, Bruno's father has dinner guests; the
man's name is "the Fury" and his date is called Eva. Bruno instantly dislikes the couple.
Bruno's sister Gretel, whom he refers to as "the Hopeless Case," is smitten by the man
and tries hard to impress him and his lady friend. Bruno, however, is disgusted by his
sister's behavior and her budding romance with a young soldier.
Much like Bruno hears "Auschwitz" as "Out-With," he also incorrectly hears "the
Fhrer" as "the Fury." Boyne masterfully tells the story from Bruno's perspective; it is
clear that the innocence of Bruno's childhood remains intact despite the fact that he is
living on the periphery of a death camp and has met Adolf Hitler.
Bruno continues to explore the woods near his house and often finds himself at the
fence spending time with Shmuel. Bruno brings him food, and the friends lament the
fact that they cannot explore together or play a game of football. Shmuel confides in
Bruno that he is unable to find his father and he is worried. Bruno vows to help Shmuel
look for his father; to that end, Shmuel promises to get Bruno some pajamas so that he
will blend in on his side of the fence.
One fateful day, Bruno sheds his clothes, dons the pajamas, and sneaks onto Shmuel's
side of the fence. As the boys search for Shmuel's father, the soldiers herd the prisoners,
Bruno among them, into the gas chambers where they meet their untimely death hand in
hand.
The Boy in the Striped Pajamas explores the beauty of a child's innocence in a time of
war, the common desire we all have for friendship, and the fencesboth literal and
figurativethat we must all navigate and choose whether or not to break down.
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The Boy in the Striped Pajamas Summary

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The Boy in the Striped Pajamas is a story about childhood innocence, friendship, and
the importance of breaking down the fences we put up around ourselves.

The novel is told from the perspective of nine-year-old Bruno, the son of a Nazi
commandant. Bruno arrives home from school one day to find the family's maid
packing their things. Unbeknownst to Bruno, his father has been selected to oversee
operations at Auschwitz (which Bruno hears as "Out-With") and the family will be
joining him. Bruno is devastated to leave his home, his friends and his grandparents in
Berlin. The situation becomes even worse when the family arrives at their new home
which is stark and isolated. Bruno is instructed by his parents that there are certain
rooms that are "Out Of Bounds At All Times And No Exceptions." This includes the
vast property behind the house which seems to beckon Bruno. With no idea what is
happening just behind his home, Bruno laments the lack of children his age and fun
activities in "Out-With."
Bruno's twelve-year-old sister, Gretel, is an all-too-eager believer in the Nazi rhetoric
being espoused to German youth. Her zeal for Nazi ideology increases when the family
moves to Auschwitz and she develops a crush on a Nazi soldier, Lieutenant Kotler, who
is a frequent visitor to the family's home. Bruno instantly dislikes Kotler, who
patronizes him. Gretel is an all-too-eager student of Herr Liszt, the tutor hired by the
children's father to home school them. He unabashedly promotes Nazi propaganda and
anti-Semitism of which Bruno is skeptical.
From his bedroom window, Bruno can see hundreds if not thousands of people wearing
pajamas working on what Bruno believes to be a farm. When Bruno's desire to explore
gets the best of him, he embarks on an adventure which leads him to an endlessly long
fence. Bruno follows the fence and after walking for quite a while, he sees a boy sitting
by the fence. Bruno approaches him and notices that he is wearing the same pajamas as
everyone else on that side of the fence along with a striped cloth cap. Bruno makes note
of the boy's filthy feet which are bare. Bruno is struck by the boy's sad eyes and ashen
skin. Shmuel introduces himself and the two strike up a conversation. They soon
discover that they share the same birthday: April 15, 1934. Bruno realizes how lonely
he has been since the family moved to "Out-With." He misses his friends from school,
Martin, Karl and Daniel. Shmuel tells Bruno how there are many boys his age on his
side of the fence and Bruno instantly deems this unfair; he plans to speak to his father
about how he wants to be able to play with the boys on the other side of the fence.
Bruno tells Shmuel he is from Berlin and Shmuel reveals that he is from Poland; neither
has ever...

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