The boy in the Striped Pajamas is a riveting novel by John Boyne. Set in World War II, Berlin, but mainly Auschwitz. The Boy in the Striped Pajamas focuses on the humanizing the Holocust and through the best way possible, Innocence, Childlike Innocence. Bruno, our main character leads us along his journey in discovering some of the horrors in his world that he is oblivious to. This piece will focus on the theme of childlike innocence and how that relates to the rest of the world historically and to me the reader.
Childlike Innocence is a very powerful and constructed thing. Mainly for Bruno, him being the oblivious and innocent to the fact that his father was killing people no matter what the motive, all comes back to the idea that hatred is just a learned behavior. Bruno being sheltered to the very best his parents could do, brought him up no recognizing the signs that were all around him. Shmuel being a prisoner himself knew plenty more about the worlds darkness compared to Bruno. Examples of Bruno illustrating his innocence was with the phrase, “why does everyone where pajamas?” Something like this shows that Bruno has no clue about the people behind this fence and why they are actually there.
Relating this novel to the world can be done quite easily. Wired into children’s minds are the concept of simplicity and love. They haven’t been affected to the point were they mirror what they experience and see. Adult minds have changed and adapted to their constantly changing environments and the need to succeed for the pleasure of an external motive. The Boy in the Striped Pajamas was very well constructed. From the beginning, Bruno narrated the story, showing everything for what it was from his perspective, Childlike innocence. This gave a greater feel and a stronger connecting for the reader to attach to. The reader, might I someway connect to this piece through their personal experiences in recognizing things that they previously didn’t. Things that were either harmful in their life or in others. This is a powerful way of latching on to the reader and pulling them along on the journey that the story has to say.
For me this novel was a roller coaster of emotions. Initially starting with a comfortable straight, waiting for the turns to happen and then ending with a sudden stop and feeling no heart beat. The Boy in the Striped Pajamas is an amazing story that I hope everyone gives themselves the chance to indulge in.