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Summary
The boy in the striped pyjamas is a book about a young little boy called Bruno. He moves with his parents to their new house ‘Out-With’ in Germany. Bruno really hate it to live there and he misses his old friends in Berlin. Bruno wants to move back to Berlin, but his parents and his sister don’t want to go back, because father has his business here.
There is a big fence near the house and Bruno is curious why it is there. He likes to do research and on one day he sees a dot that became a speck that became a blob that became a figure that became a boy. The boy wore a striped pyjama and his name was Shmuel. Bruno and Shmuel became good friends because they met every day, but they won’t be able to touch each other because of the fence. On a day Shmuel tells Bruno that Shmuel’s father is reported missing. Bruno decides that he starts research together with Shmuel. But the fence separates them. Next day Bruno goes under the fence in a striped pyjama he received that day from Shmuel.  But he had never come back; Bruno and Shmuel are gassed by the Nazi.

Characters:

Bruno:
Bruno is the most important person in the book. He is a little young boy who have only three good friends. Bruno is just a very friendly boy, because when his sister Gretel gets mad to him, he never says something back. Another reason that he is friendly is his behave towards Shmuel. When they first met, Bruno is very spontaneous and happy that he met Shmuel. And when Shmuel comes at ‘Out-With’ to work for the Nazi, Bruno would per se that Shmuel eats something, because Bruno knows that Shmuel was hungry.  At the end of the book, when Shmuels father is reported missing, Bruno risks his own life to help Shmuel finding back his father. When they are in de dark room where they will be gassed, Bruno and Shmuel hold hands, it’s a true friendship.

Shmuel:
Shmuel is also a little young boy from nine year old. He is Polish and he is captive by the Nazi because he is a Jew. He is bald and wears a striped pyjama always. His face is grey, and that’s not because of his skin-color. There is a lot of dust on his face and it seems like he hasn’t took a shower for a long time. He isn’t wearing shoes. Shmuel is shy, especially in the begin when he met Bruno. Later he isn’t shy anymore.

Gretel:
Gretel is the sister from Bruno. She is twelve year old and she enjoys playing with her dolls. She is in love with Lieutanant Kurt Kotler but he is 22 year old, so to old for Gretel. But she is still flirting with him and when she sees him, she runs to him and starts conversations. She is very unkind and bossy to Bruno. She acts like she is his mother and she always improves his (little) mistakes and she commands him. An example from the book is when Bruno knocks on the door from her room, he walks inside and she asks: “What are you doing and why you join my room?” She says it on a fashion that Bruno gets the feeling he isn’t welcome. And when she want Bruno to go, she says: “And now go away! And fast!”

Title statement:

The title from this book is “The boy in the striped pyjamas”. The title is called several times in the book. The first time is when Bruno watches out of his window and he sees all the people behind the fence in a striped pyjama and he is very inquisitive why they are altogether wearing that same pyjamas. When Bruno is exploring along the fence, he sees a dot that became a speck that became a blob that became a figure that became a boy and that boy is wearing a striped pyjama. This is the first time Bruno can ask why they are altogether wearing it. The boy (Shmuel) tells Bruno that they are required to wear, because the leathers throw away all your clothes when you arrive at the camp. When Bruno goes to the other side of the fence for exploration, he also have to wear that same striped pyjamas, because when he don’t, the Nazi can notice that Bruno shouldn’t be there. So it’s very clear why the title is “the name in the striped pyjamas”

My own opinion:

I think it was a nice book, and it has strengths and weaknesses. The begin was a little boring. Sometimes there were too much unimportant details, and that makes the story tedious. The end of the book was very good. Since I was at page 85 I was very curious what will happen. In the begin I didn’t like to read, because it was boring, but later on it begin to fascinates me and I read the second half of the book much more faster than the first half. Addition: In the begin I thought that Bruno and his family were Jews, so they had to move because of the Nazi, but Bruno’s father is the officer in the army from Germany so it’s just the opposite. I really didn’t expect that. On a scale of 1 to 10, I give this book an eight, because the end was very pathetic, but very beautiful.

 

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