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Boy in the Striped Pyjamas Review

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Introduction

The story of the Boy in the Striped Pyjamas, Shmuel in this case, is uncharacteristically hard to describe. Bruno, a vividly wild adventurer, tells his story as a typical 9-year old boy should, contrary to the judgement of his older sister Gretal. All we can establish from the front cover is a modern recurring theme of discrimination; A plain cover indicating a subtle atmosphere, which is an absolutely preposterous thought, and Striped: Showing no individuality or pride, with printed writing, the separation of peoples identities, replaced by numbers. The audience is important to this young author (Bruno), as they embark on an unusual journey, filled with narrow border-lines separating right and wrong, black and white, and different religious beliefs. A punch line, "More than satisfactory," basically confuses the well structured plot and the storyline is surfing on the reader's imagination - What an incredible technique. As the gloom of death encloses them, another flickering twist is mercifully tossed into the picture. A book that lingers in the mind for quite some time as he manipulates different groups of people to take abrupt action, and prove ONE man can make a difference. The ironic synopsis this story so desperately craves. The intention of this book is clear, a star studded thought by a superb author captures the seeds of guilt in an innocent party's mind and blossoms them into a flourish of disbelief. ...read more.

Middle

As the putrid stench flowing from the chimneys grew stronger, Elsa decided to return to Berlin to raise her treasures in a sterile environment, leaving Bruno a final chance to support the young Jewish boy he befriended. On this final tear-jerking visit, Bruno foolishly agrees to assist Shmuel in his search for his missing father, who unknown to him, has already been killed by the Nazis, and joins him on the other side of the fence in striped pyjamas and a bold head (due to lice infection) to look the part. However, this exploration backfires and the two young boys, reunited in friendship are forcefully instructed to go on a final march, consequently leading them to a gas chamber to be brutally murdered as millions had died before them, triggering a stomach-wrenching search from the grieving family. Moreover, such defences were far more superior and any contact with the outside world was not only prohibited but impossible to gain. I am not one for patronising children, however, there are those who believe that dark subject matter like the Holocaust should not trouble young minds, but I could not disagree more. The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas is a remarkable, shocking, and moving story that succeeds brilliantly in teaching about this monumental act of evil to those who have yet to learn of it. ...read more.

Conclusion

One particularly heartbreaking moment sees Bruno invite Shmuel to one day come and play at his house in Berlin "when everyone has stopped being angry with each other". Unfortunately, his elder sister Gretel is too old to be innocent. She puts away her dolls and laps up the Nazi propaganda with a truly chilling zeal. In conclusion, the book was an extremely captivating and emotional story and can honestly empathise with how this is such a moving yet complex story. A must read for al those fictitious readers looking for historical fiction to side "Private Peaceful." Despite this appealing to all ages, it is unfortunately not a great piece of historical reference and accuracy. Regardless of the fact the torture methods and working/living conditions are remotely true, through my own historical knowledge; I understand that mustard gas was used to kill them. However, in more factors than not this book is purely amusing fiction. Surprisingly, I did like this book by John Boyne, as a piece of historical fiction, and not accuracy, These books are especially good for young children, to inform them of the dangers and injustice in the world that they are living in and are striving to prevent. Overall I value this as a moderately exciting read to educate youths into the modern economic climate as the characters do. It is a world of possibilities and adventures outweigh cold facts. ?? ?? ?? ?? By Matthew Bellamy 9F ...read more.

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