The Boy in the Striped Pajamas short summary & analysis

The Boy in the Striped Pajamas


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The Boy in the Striped Pajamas - John Boyne

Categories:Children's Books

The Boy in the Striped Pajamas Analysis

The Boy in Striped Pajamas is the first Irish book published by John Boyne in 2007. Although the book is a children's book, it has managed to attract readers of all ages since its publication. It was also a book I liked very much. I think the most striking feature of the book is the subject it deals with. The book, which tells the story of a child living in Nazi Germany during the Second World War, is the kind that you cannot get rid of for days after you finish. Since it is a children's book, the language of the book is quite plain and simple. For this reason, it is both very fluent and immersive, and a book that you cannot get rid of when you start. I would definitely recommend to readers of all ages.

The Boy in the Striped Pajamas Short Summary

The short summary of the book is as follows:

Bruno is a nine-year-old boy living in a five-story house with his twelve-year-old sister, mother and father, a Nazi officer, whom he described as "Desperate Case" in Berlin, Germany.

One day, the Führer -Bruno thinks his name is Fury- comes to Bruno's house for dinner. Her parents are very excited because Fury is apparently an important one. After that dinner, Bruno learns that his father has been promoted at work, so they will move to a place called Out-with (Auschwitz). He is very upset about this, because he loves their surroundings and friends.

When they move to out-with, many soldiers enter and leave the house. Bruno is very annoyed by this because he has never liked the soldiers. Every day a teacher comes to their home and gives some lessons to her older sister and Bruno. Although his teachers give importance to history lesson and view art and reading as a waste of time, Bruno loves reading adventure books and hates history. But with her sister's teachers and the place where they live, she turns into a full Nazi. Bruno is so lonely, there is not a single house around his house, but behind the wire fences around the garden there are thousands of men and children all wearing identical striped pajamas. Bruno saw all this through the window in his room.

One day, Bruno decides to go on an expedition in the garden with the effect of the adventure books he read. After going a long way along the strands, he sees a boy with a striped pajama and a shaved head sitting down on the other side of the wired fences. The child is very weak and very sad looking. And Bruno sits on the side of the fence, just like the other child, and they start chatting. He learns that the child's name is Schmuel. Soon after Bruno walked through the wire fences every afternoon and sat on the ground and chatted with Schmuel, it became a routine, two of them being two very good friends. Sometimes he takes food from the kitchen and squeezes it into his pocket, he takes it to Schmuel, and he is happy as he sees the happiness on the child's face. Bruno no longer misses his best friends before moving to Out-With that much, not even remembering their names. Now his best and only friend is Schmuel.

As time went on, Bruno, who started to complain that there were no one other soldiers around them and said that two children could not be raised in such an environment, tells his father that he wants to return to Berlin. Although his father did not accept it when he first heard it, he later admitted that it was a logical idea, that everyone was happier there. Thus, they begin preparations for relocation. But Bruno is not so eager to go back to Berlin. He does not want to leave Schmuel.

The day before Bruno moves, when he goes to see Schmuel, he finds him even more upset than he is. He says his father was taken to work, and then he did not return. Then they decide to search for Schmuel’s father together by wearing those striped pajamas. But despite their hours of searching, they cannot find a trace of his father. Just as Bruno is going back home, the soldiers surround them and say they will be taken for a walk. Neither has an idea of what a walk is. But Bruno and Schmuel never come back from that walk.


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