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Tuesday, 14 January 2014

Matching Themes to Characters

Prejudice and Discrimination
Lieutenant Kotler

The Germans were prejudiced against the Jews and treated them cruelly.

“ ‘Hey you!’ He shouted, then adding a word that Bruno did not understand. ‘Come here, you— ‘He said that word again, and something about the harsh sound of it made Bruno look away and feel ashamed to be part of this at all.” (Page 75) [Lieutenant Kotler]

Lieutenant Kotler acted as if they were superior than everyone else, even to people who were older than himself.

In real life today, there are many ways people are prejudiced against the rest, for example racism. This is why some riots break out. Thus, we should learn to accept our differences and work together in harmony to make this world a better place.
Childhood and Innocence

He did not know about the discrimination of the Jews.

“What exactly was the difference? he wondered to himself. And who decided which people wore the striped pajamas and which people wore the uniforms?”(Page 100)

“Heil Hitler," he said, which, he presumed, was another way of saying, "Well, goodbye for now, have a pleasant afternoon.” (Page 54)

He thought that the prison uniform were pyjamas and there was no difference between that and a soldier’s uniform. He also did not think of the concentration camp as a horrible place, but as a place with lots of people to play with.

Innocence is a bliss, as many people say. It is a bliss in this case-- if Bruno had fully understood about the difference between the Nazis and the Jews, he would not have had been friends with Shumel. He would have a very torturous life living at Auschwitz near the concentration camp. Sometimes in life, it is better not to pry something not necessary to know , and to enjoy whatever we have right here, right now.

Innocence and Conformity

“He sighed and seemed to consider it for quite a long time before saying, ‘Yes I am’ ” (Page 82)

He was a doctor but because of Hitler he was sent to a German death camp to work. He had to conform from being a doctor to being a vegetable peeler for Bruno’s family.


“ Gretel had decided that she didn’t like dolls any more and had put them all into four large bags and town 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.” (Page 180)

She took down all of her prized possession dolls for pictures of Hitler and Nazi supporting posters. She conformed to these changes to impress Lieutenant Kotler and to fit in with everyone else.


He took food from his house to give Shmuel because it was one way he could help his friend who was always hungry.

“ ‘Shmuel! Here!’ said Bruno, stepping forward and putting slices in his friend’s hand. ‘Just eat them. There’s lots left for our tea - you don’t have to worry about that.’ ” (Page 170)

Nowadays, such kind acts can be seen. For example, when kind samaritans give homeless people food/water.
Bruno also denies that he knows Shmuel to Lieutenant Kolter in order to prevent Shumel from being punished.

“ ‘I’ve never spoken to him,’ said Bruno immediately. ‘I’ve never seen him before in my life. I don’t know him.’ ” (Page 172)

This shows an act of trust and loyalty which is a display of humanity. In today’s context, humanitarian acts such as these can be seen among true friendships, kinships, etc.
Friendship and Loyalty
Bruno and Shmuel

Both of them knew that they were not supposed to be friends, however they still stuck by each others side till the end, displaying true friendship and loyalty.

“You're my best friend, Shmuel... My best friend for life.”(page 213)

“...Despite the mayhem that followed, Bruno found that he was still holding Shmuel's hand in his own and nothing in the world would have persuaded him to let go.” (Page 213)

Bruno even crossed to the other side of the fence to help Shmuel look for his father, even though he put his life at risk.

Acts of friendship and loyalty can be seen among good friends who are willing to do anything for each other, including sacrificing themselves.

Done By: Chelsea, Eunice, Kimberly, Lynette

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