conclusion essay boy in the striped pyjamas

The Boy in the Striped Pajamas

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Welcome to the LitCharts study guide on John Boyne's The Boy in the Striped Pajamas . Created by the original team behind SparkNotes, LitCharts are the world's best literature guides.

Striped Pajamas: Introduction

Striped pajamas: plot summary, striped pajamas: detailed summary & analysis, striped pajamas: themes, striped pajamas: quotes, striped pajamas: characters, striped pajamas: symbols, striped pajamas: theme wheel, brief biography of john boyne.

The Boy in the Striped Pajamas PDF

Historical Context of The Boy in the Striped Pajamas

Other books related to the boy in the striped pajamas.

  • Full Title: The Boy in the Striped Pajamas
  • When Written: April, 2004
  • Where Written: Dublin, Ireland
  • When Published: 2006
  • Literary Period: Contemporary Young Adult
  • Genre: Young Adult Fiction, Historical Fiction
  • Setting: Berlin, Germany and Auschwitz, Poland
  • Climax: When Bruno, who seeks to understand the world on the other side of the fence in which his friend Shmuel lives, changes into a pair of the “striped pajamas” and climbs under the fence.
  • Antagonist: Bruno’s Father
  • Point of View: Third person omniscient, mostly from the perspective of Bruno, a nine-year-old boy.

Extra Credit for The Boy in the Striped Pajamas

Quick work. Boyne wrote the first draft of The Boy in the Striped Pajamas in two and a half days, hardly sleeping until he finished.

Film. The novel became a movie in 2008 under the same name, directed by Mark Herman.

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A Review of The Book The Boy in Striped Pajamas

  • Categories: Book Review The Boy in The Striped Pajamas

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Words: 708 |

Published: Aug 6, 2021

Words: 708 | Pages: 2 | 4 min read

Works Cited

  • Boyne, J. (2006). The Boy in the Striped Pajamas. David Fickling Books.
  • Gavron, J., & Boyne, J. (2008). The Boy in the Striped Pajamas: A fable. Film adaptation. Miramax Films.
  • Hedges, C. (2006). Review: The Boy in the Striped Pajamas. The New York Times. Retrieved from
  • Kadar, M. (2013). "Out-With," History, and Holocaust in John Boyne's The Boy in the Striped Pajamas. Children's Literature Association Quarterly, 38(2), 176-198.
  • Kustanowitz, E. (2008). Inventing the Other: Post-Holocaust Jewish Identity in Boyne's The Boy in the Striped Pajamas. Studies in Jewish American Literature, 27(1), 87-98.
  • Lacayo, R. (2006). Out of the Past. Time. Retrieved from,9171,1537536,00.html
  • Marks, D. (2009). The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas: Fantasy? Irony? Reality? Journal of Holocaust Education, 18(1), 41-60.
  • Reuter, A. (2008). Visualizing the Holocaust: Intermedial Encounters in John Boyne's The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas. In S. Onega & J. Garcia Landa (Eds.), Visual Aids in Fiction: An Introduction (pp. 95-116). De Gruyter.
  • Sherman, J. (2007). The Boy in the Striped Pajamas: Children's Experiences of Auschwitz in Children's Fiction. Journal of Children's Literature Studies, 4(2), 71-93.
  • Zipes, J. (2011). Fairy Tales and Fables: From Origins and Poetics to Reception. Routledge.

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conclusion essay boy in the striped pyjamas

The Boy In The Striped Pyjamas Analysis Essay

conclusion essay boy in the striped pyjamas

The Boy In The Striped Pyjamas Themes

Boyne’s novel uses these techniques to create these ideas, giving us an insight into the experiences of the Jewish people during Nazi Germany. John Boyne explores the theme of prejudice and discrimination in his novel through his use of narrative voice, dramatic irony and juxtaposition. In Boyne’s novel, Shmuel is discriminated and is sent to a concentration camp, while Bruno enjoys the luxuries of upper class Nazi Germany, even though they are of the same age. Shmuel was discriminated as he was Jewish, while Bruno enjoyed luxuries as he was the child of a high-ranking Aryan officer.

Set during World War II, the story follows the journey of Bruno, a young German boy who ventures out from behind the safety of his family’s fence to explore the strange and unfamiliar world beyond. The novel explores themes of innocence, friendship, and human cruelty in the face of war and atrocity. Written with literary sensitivity and emotional depth, The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas is considered a modern classic that continues to resonate with readers both young and old.

Narrative Techniques In The Boy In The Striped Pyjamas

The novel uses several narrative techniques to tell its story. One of these is foreshadowing, which is when the author hint at events that will happen later in the story. For example, early in the book, Bruno’s father tells him that he will be moving to a new house far away from Berlin. The events that unfold in The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas are quite tragic, and many readers believe that these tragic events may have been foreshadowed early on in the book.

Another narrative technique used in The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas is symbolism. The main symbol of the novel is the striped pyjamas worn by Shmuel, which represent the concentration camp where he lives. The imagery of these pyjamas serves as a haunting reminder of the horrors that took place at Auschwitz during World War II.

conclusion essay boy in the striped pyjamas

Dramatic Irony In The Boy In The Striped Pajamas

The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas, by John Boyne, is a novel that uses dramatic irony to great effect. The story is set during World War II, and follows the friendship between two boys, one of whom is Jewish and the other German.

The Jewish boy, Bruno, is sent to live in a concentration camp with his family after his father is promoted in the Nazi party. There, he meets a boy named Shmuel, who is wearing striped pyjamas. The two become friends, despite the fact that they are supposed to be enemies.

The irony of the situation is that Bruno does not realize that Shmuel is a prisoner in the camp. He thinks that Shmuel is just another boy playing in the “farm” that his family has moved to, and does not understand why he cannot leave the camp or go near the fence. Through Bruno’s naïve perspective, readers are able to see the true horrors of war through a child’s eyes.

Overall, The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas is a powerful novel that uses dramatic irony to explore one of the worst tragedies of modern history. It is a must-read for anyone interested in this dark period of history, as well as those looking for an engaging read with powerful themes and messages.

Boyne uses third person limited narrative to show us the perspective of the characters on the world around him. For example, in Boyne’s novel, when Shmuel sees Bruno in the pyjamas, he thought that “It was almost as if they were exactly the same really”. This quote strengthens the idea that the Jewish minority at the time of Nazi Germany were discriminated against. This narrative voice in turn creates dramatic irony, to show us the perspectives and beliefs of a young innocent child in a much more sinister reality. By using dramatic irony, he emphasises how pointless the discrimination against the Jewish people were.

Bruno is originally jealous of Shmuel, as he believed that “You get to have dozens of friends and are probably playing for hours every day” This quote supports the idea that dramatic irony is used in Bruno’s perspective, as he believes that Shmuel plays in the camp everyday. However, this use of dramatic irony gives a darker sense to the reader, of the actual reality of the camp. The author uses juxtaposition in his novel, to show how little difference there was between the Jewish and Aryan race, and how meaningless the discrimination against the Jewish people were.

Boyne uses juxtaposition in this thought provoking statement. “What exactly was the difference? And who decided which people wore the striped pyjamas and which people wore the uniforms? ” This excellent quote explores the ideas of prejudice and discrimination, and manages to leave the reader pondering about the cause for the Anti-Semitism in Nazi Germany. The way Boyne wrote this novel shows the reader clearly the author’s position on the discrimination and prejudice the Jewish people faced in Nazi Germany. John Boyne explores the theme of the power of friendship in this novel through narrative voice, setting and symbolism.

In BITSP, Bruno and Shmuel, two unlikely people from different ends of the social structure of Nazi Germany become the best of friends. They manage to become best friends, even though one of them is in a concentration camp surrounded by barbed wire. By using third person limited narrative, the author is able to elaborate and emphasise more on the power of friendship. This also makes the friendship seem more realistic and believable. Near the end of the book, Bruno says to Shmuel “You’re my best friend, Shmuel.

My best friend for life. This quote strengthens the idea that friendship is unbreakable, and gives us insight into Bruno’s friendship with Shmuel. Boyne uses certain settings to reinforce the power of friendship. In the excerpt, there is a certain sentence that gives the reader a sense of the power of their friendship. In the excerpt, it says that “A dot in the distance became a speck and that became a blob and that became a figure” This quote depicts the idea that the setting where they meet daily is far away, and that the boys travel long distances just to meet each other.

Boyne employs author voice to suggest his view of the war through other characters and narration. Bruno’s grandmother, a constant source of rationality throughout the book, has a voice that may be heard in her comments about the conflict. Grandma attacks the war and Adolf Hitler’s role in it from the outset, which allows Boyne to present his own ideas on the subject. Colonel Commandant Kotler’s statement denouncing anything that does not support Nazi ideology is also an expression of opinion by Boyne.

Through his interactions with the other prisoners, including Bruno’s enigmatic grandmother, readers slowly begin to see the horrifying realities of war and the devastating effects it has on those caught up in its wake. Ultimately, The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas is a haunting tale that serves as both a heartbreaking reminder of humanity’s capacity for darkness and an ultimately hopeful testament to our enduring capacity for good.

The novel tells the story of Bruno, a nine-year-old boy who is sent to live with his grandmother after his father is appointed as the Commandant of Auschwitz.

Bruno befriends a boy named Shmuel, who lives on the other side of the fence that surrounds the concentration camp. One day, Bruno decides to sneak into the camp to see what life is like for Shmuel. However, he does not realize the true nature of the camp until it is too late.

The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas is a powerful story about friendship, innocence, and the horrors of war. John Boyne uses his grandmother’s experiences during the Holocaust to bring the events of the past to life for readers. The novel is a moving tale that will stay with you long after you have finished reading it.

In the book, the fence dividing the Jewish people and the Aryan people symbolises the imaginary rift that the Nazi Party had created. When “Shmuel reached down and lifted the base of the fence” it symbolised the two boys breaking the imaginary rift, with the power of friendship. This quote supports the idea that the power of friendship is more powerful than anything else. In the end of the book, Bruno and Shmuel die in the gas chamber holding hands, showing that nothing can break the power of friendship. John Boyne explores the theme of innocence in his novel through narrative voice, dramatic irony and juxtaposition.

A famous quote by Thomas Grey is ‘ignorance is bliss’. For Bruno and Shmuel, ignorance would have been bliss, as they had been thrown into a dark and sinister time and place unwillingly. For most of the book, Bruno and Shmuel had innocent theories about their experiences. However, towards the end of the book, they started having more sinister theories about Auschwitz. By using a third person limited narrative voice, the author is able to emphasise the innocence of the young children. Boyne uses this narrative voice to suggest the boys’ innocence.

For example, in the book, Bruno states, “I don’t understand why we’re not allowed on the other side of the fence. What’s so wrong with us that we can’t go there and play? ” This quote suggests that Bruno is innocent, and does not know the true purpose of the camp. He also believed that the fence was preventing them from going to the other side, and not vice-versa. Dramatic irony is used all throughout the book, to show us the truth through an innocent young boy’s mind.

When Bruno gets injured, he asks Pavel “If you’re a doctor, then why are you waiting on tables? This quote strengthens the idea that Bruno has an innocent mind. Bruno cannot comprehend why a doctor would become a waiter, but the actual reason is clear to the reader. Pavel could not practise as a doctor, as he was Jewish. The author uses juxtaposition to emphasise the innocence of the boys’ minds. When Shmuel and Bruno meet for the first time, they find out that they have the exact same birth date, when Bruno says, “My birthday is April the fifteenth too. ” This quote highlights the idea that Bruno and Shmuel are not very different.

They live on the opposite ends of the Nazi Germany society, yet they do not understand why. It is evident that Bruno and Shmuel do not understand the differences. They have an innocent mind, and do not believe that race is the cause for this segregation. Boyne has placed two innocent children in a much more sinister reality. As has been explored, John Boyne uses narrative voice and other literary devices to convey the ideas around prejudice and discrimination, friendship and innocence in his novel “The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas”.

He conveys these ideas through techniques such narrative voice, dramatic irony, juxtaposition, setting and symbolism. In the end of the book, the author states that “Of course this happened a long time ago and nothing like that could ever happen again. Not in this day and age” Boyne refers to the current conflicts and issues currently happening, and implies that these events are still being mirrored. Boyne has written an extremely intricate and though provoking novel.

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“The Boy in the Striped Pajamas” Essay

Introduction, film review, the good points in the movie, the bad points in the movie, historical accuracy of the movie, works cited.

Most individuals prefer watching movies as a way of entrainment or killing time especially the youth. Movies entail different themes that might range from historical experiences to current day-to-day experiences. However, some movies and television shows purporting to highlight some historical issues may lack historical validity and accurateness. This paper is a review and historical analysis of the film, The Boy in the Striped Pajamas.

The film is founded on a novel with the same title. John Boyne authored the novel. The film’s director is Mark Herman, and it was released in 2008. The main actor is Bruno, who is eight years of age living in the countryside with his family after his father receives a promotion in the workplace. Bruno’s dad is a commandant of an extermination camp, which borders their homestead, but it separated by a barbed wire electric fence.

At one point, Bruno decides to disobey the rules forbidding him from accessing the back garden. Curiosity leads him to the fence surrounding the extermination camp. Bruno meets Shmuel, who is a Jewish inmate at the camp, and befriends him. Bruno speculates the striped uniform that Shmuel is wearing to resemble pajamas, thus hinting to the viewers about the origin of the film’s title. The pair organizes regular meetings where they are involved in playing board games together, and Bruno sneaks food to his friend during such occasions.

One day, Bruno’s mother discovers the assignment of his husband following some insights from a junior commissioned officer often called Lieutenant concerning the black smoke emanating from the chimneys of the camp. Apparently, the smoke comes from the burning of the Jews who are perceived as lesser humans in the Nazi Germany. Bruno’s mother becomes agitated and heartbroken, and thus she confronts her husband. Later on at a dinner in Bruno’s home, the lieutenant pronounces how his biological father had moved to Switzerland and left his family.

Bruno’s father accuses the Lieutenant of neglect of duty and recklessness by not informing the concerned authorities about his father’s eminent disagreements with the prevailing political regime. Therefore, to prove his ultimate support for the political regime and cover his embarrassment, Lieutenant Kotler beats to death the Jewish inmate who was a servant at Bruno’s house so that he could show his undeterred support to the political system.

Later on, by coincidence, Shmuel replaces the murdered servant. Due to amusement, Bruno decides to offer him a cake. Unfortunately, the lieutenant sees Shmuel chewing and immediately accuses him of theft. Shmuel explains that the cake was duly offered to him, but Bruno denies the claims out of fear. Bruno decides to go and apologize to Shmuel. However, the servant cannot be found. Bruno keeps on going back to the same venue at the camp, but he is never fortunate to meet his friend until one moment when Shmuel reappears at the fence. During the reunion, Bruno expresses his ultimate apologies to his friend who forgives him before rekindled their friendship ( The Boy in the Striped Pajamas ).

Towards the end of the movie, Bruno endeavors to help Shmuel’s find his father who is missing after failing to return to the camp after a march. Consequently, he disappears from their house by digging a hole under the barbed wire fence to access the camp where Shmuel is residing. Later, his mother and sister discover that Bruno is missing. They inform the father who launches an immediate search together with his men. However, the search is unfruitful because the prohibited friendship between Bruno and Shmuel becomes a tragedy.

In the film, the aspect of true friendship is evident as demonstrated by Bruno and his ultimate affection to Shmuel, who is an inmate and a Jew. The audience often observes the deep relationship expressed through their conversation in the various meetings. Bruno breaks the confines of his family rules of not visiting the back garden just for the sake of friendship. The viewers also witness Bruno’s chances by sneaking food to his friend. At some point, he apologizes to Shmuel for denying that he offered him the cake. Lastly, Bruno’s decides to help Shmuel trace his father who has disappeared after a match.

Bruno’s mother is observed to oppose the dictatorial regime by expressing her anguish and dissatisfaction on the matter of anti-Semitism. She is heartbroken after discovering that the black smoke emanating from the camp chimneys is from the burning of Jewish corpses. She also confronts her husband after learning about his assignment in the camp, thus proving to viewers that she is not contended with the way that the current regime disregards the Jews.

The aspect of dictatorship is evident in the film. Characters such as Bruno’s father, who shows ultimate support to the current regime, demonstrate the feature. At times, he accuses the lieutenant of not demonstrating his loyalty to the political regime by not reporting to the relevant authorities the disappearance of his father to Switzerland. The viewers also witness the killing the Jew servant by the lieutenant illegitimately to prove his support for Semitism.

Racism is also a bad point as depicted in the different scenarios. The discrimination against the Jews is profound in this movie as evidenced by the rules prohibiting Bruno from engaging in friendship with Shmuel. The lieutenant also murders the servant simply because he is a Jew. The black smoke from the Jews’ burning corpses additionally proves how the political regime disregarded the life of the Jews.

The movie, The Boy in the Striped Pajamas, is historically accurate. First, it was set during the World War II period from 1939 to 1945. The movie is relevant because it underscores the infamous Holocaust, which happened under the watch of Adolf Hitler’s tyrannical regime in the Nazi Germany. During this period, around six million Jews were murdered. The extermination camps as the one demonstrated in the movie were used in the systematic murder of the Jews.

The predominant ways of terminating life included gassing whereby the Jew inmates in the camps were packed in gas chambers, and then Carbon Monoxide or Zyklon B was used to suffocate them to death. The Jews were also killed by subjection to strenuous work under severe hunger conditions. The movie is historically correct due to the presence of death camps located beside Bruno’s home. The evidence provided by Bruno’s effort to sneak food to Shmuel and his vivid eyewitness of weak and malnourished Jews paints a picture of the situation during the Jews’ condition in the Nazi Germany.

The movie is also historically accurate because it portrays the element of dictatorship that characterized Adolf Halter’s political regime. The tutor employed to educate Bruno and his sister Gretel demonstrates the dictatorship. The tutor often campaigns for nationalist propaganda, which is a key element in a despotic regime. Gretel gradually develops an overwhelming support for Third Reich, which was the historical period between 1933 and 1945 when Hitler’s dictatorship was evident. Gretel even decides to cover her bedroom with posters encompassing the Nazi propaganda, thus painting a full picture of how the dictatorial government controlled all the aspects of the people’s lifestyles.

The movie also portrays its historical accuracy due to its vivid description of significant instances of anti-Semitism. This term underscores hatred, non-preference, and discrimination against the Jews based on their ethnicity, religious, or racial affiliation (Goldstein 28). During the Holocaust in the World War II, the Nazi regime discriminated the Jews leading to their death. This historical occurrence stands out clearly in the movie given the way Jews are treated. Additionally, the prejudice is evident after the lieutenant terminates the life of the Jew servant illegitimately so that he can demonstrate his allegiance and loyalty to the ruling regime.

Movies have different themes that they ultimately aim to communicate to the viewers. Most information may be historical while other films concentrate on the emerging issues around the globe. The movie, The Boy in the Striped Pajamas, gives the audience a clear image of what conspired during the World War II in the Nazi Germany. Some of the themes that have been evident include the Nazi propaganda, the dictatorship under Adolf Hitler, and anti-Semitism. The movie is historically accurateness because its themes and occurrences coincide with those of the Second World War from which it derives its setting.

Goldstein, Phyllis. A Convenient Hatred: The History of Antisemitism , Brookline: Facing History and Ourselves, 2011. Print.

The Boy in the Striped Pajamas . Dir. Mark Herman. New York: Miramax Home Entertainment. 2009. Film.

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The Boy in the Striped Pajamas Essays

Trying themes of 'the boy in the striped pajamas' anonymous college, the boy in the striped pajamas.

John Boyne’s most famous novel, The Boy in the Striped Pajamas, is an intricate story about two boys that meet at a concentration camp during the Second World War. In this novel, several themes are made evident, such as the innocence of childhood,...

The Boy in the Striped Pajamas as a Genuine Fable Anonymous 10th Grade

For an author portraying a topic as precarious and momentous as the Holocaust, perhaps the only adequate approach is through a fable, such as The Boy in the Striped Pajamas . In this novel, John Boyne creates main characters and a narrator that...

conclusion essay boy in the striped pyjamas

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Reflection On "The Boy In The Striped Pajamas" By John Boyne

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  • Topic: Nazi Concentration Camps , The Boy in The Striped Pajamas

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