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The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas

Essay by   •  June 9, 2013  •  Essay  •  917 Words (4 Pages)  •  1,604 Views

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A person may change because of the behaviour, attitude, role or opinion of other people. It is easy to be influenced by these things which can make an individual become unable to distinguish between right or wrong. A novel that illustrates this well is "The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas" by John Boyne. This novel allows us to view people's beliefs and perceptions of genocide, leadership and war at the time of Hitler's reign.

An individual may have limited knowledge of their surroundings because of other people manipulating their understanding of society. Throughout the novel, one who is most affected by this is Bruno, throughout the novel he was only given a brief explanation about his father's job in the 'Schutzstaffeln' and the things that happened beyond the fence in the concentration camps. To lead Bruno into believing in the Nazi Ideologies of Jewish people being the 'enemy' and whom are at fault for Germany losing the recent war , Bruno's father stated 'they're not really people at all, Bruno'. This belief was passed on from Bruno's father to his son to manipulate Bruno into thinking the 'Aryan Race' was the only 'pure' German race while Jews were seen as the opposite. During that time, the Jewish people were discriminated because they were seen as weak and thought to be 'contaminating' society with their views and beliefs. Bruno's father furthermore hid the fact that their family moved to Auschwitz because of Bruno's father's job, which lead Bruno into thinking his father did something wrong at work. Bruno was also being manipulated by his sister when she explains to him that Aryan Race and the Jews had nothing in common by saying 'we're the opposite'. These events of people manipulating Bruno have shaped his understanding of the Nazi Ideology of how Jewish people are discriminated and have altered the way he views Jewish people, as the supposably 'enemies'.

The power and role of an individual may inflict fear on another individual due to their actions. During the time of Hitler's reign, a person with power was well respected and was feared amongst others. In the novel, this was distinctly shown with the mother. At first, the mother's opinion on the role of her husband was a handsome man in a wonderful uniform, this was expressed when she said 'don't you think Ralf looks very handsome in his new uniform?' However, after realising because of his uniform, her husband was responsible for gen6ocide, she starts to fear his role. The grandmother may have also impacted Bruno's mother's opinion, when she scolded at her for believing her husband looked handsome in his uniform which is seen when she says 'is that what you consider to be of importance in the world?'. Due to these reasons Bruno's mother becomes more aware of her husband's role

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