BOY IN THE STRIPED PYJAMAS – TOPIC 2 In the novel Boy in The Striped Pyjamas, prejudice and discrimination are shown to have many negative effects on many of the characters such as Bruno, Shumel, Father, Mother and Kotler. In my essay I will explore this idea in relation to the novel. Discrimination, (or in other words negatively putting someone down but not physical hurting or touching them in anyway) is taken place in Boy in The Striped Pyjamas by many different people such as Gretel, by following Kotler’s decisions Gretel is discriminating because she is supporting the Germans belief.
Prejudice on the other hand, (is another word for negative physical contact such as kicking, hitting or even killing) in Boy in Striped Pyjamas this is shown by the Father, Hitler. Also Kotler beating up Pavel over he had miss poured the wine. One of the most obvious examples of discrimination in this novel is the concentration camp and the negative effect it has on the Jewish prisoners. The fence that is separating Bruno and Shumel is there for a reason because of race, religion and culture. Shumel is living in fear, depression and is slowly emaciated, not only does he feel sad and isolated it is how he has been treated.
In the book the writer says that Bruno looks and Shumel and ‘He stares at the floor and looking as if he was trying to convince his soul not to live inside his tiny body anymore’ he sits there in the rough dirty ground. Pavel is the butler at Bruno’s house and is also a Jew, like Shumel. When Bruno hurts himself on the tire swing he comes across Pavel and learns a bit about him. That he was a doctor but then got taken into the concentration camp and got everything taken away from him his clothes, family and food. Bruno was surprised and puzzled.
Later on when Kotler comes to Bruno’s house form dinner Kotler gets mad at a conversation they were having and his temper rises. Kotler ask’s Pavel for wine, he had become weak and was trembling and limping a fair amount, Pavel he spills the wine all over Kotler and end up with Pavel in a serious condition. Despite the more powerful position of the Germans, the discrimination that takes place in the novel affects all the characters negatively. Mother is afraid of the concentration camp being too close to the house and is scared of the terrifying consequences it could, and did lead to.
When Bruno and Shumel knew more about each other and realised that they weren’t meant to be friends but they looked further than that. Once Bruno and Shumel became greater friends Shumel asked Bruno a favour, to come over that side of the fence to find Shumel’s father. When Bruno accepts and goes ahead with it they get in trouble and get cramped in tightly by groups of 100’s and 100’s of adults they get sucked into the gas chamber and Bruno and Shumel die. The act of discrimination and prejudice ultimately led to the death of Bruno and Shumel’s life.
Father, Hitler and Kotler were the three main prejudice leaders in this novel Father the commandant directing the soldiers to complete the ‘The Final Solution’ led to death for all Jews and sadly Bruno and Shumel as well. Father never felt the same way again he felt guilty that they had taken away so many lives, innocent lives and couldn’t even imagine how so many of them felt like that for most of their lives. Mother wasn’t happy about the decision in the first place and felt unsecure about the whole Out-with thing, she knew it would end up to something bad but did expect it like that.
By the end of the novel Father was shocked, distressed and very heartbroken about Bruno’s death and realised that he hadn’t taken much notice of Bruno till then. When the soldiers took him away, because he wasn’t doing his job properly he didn’t care what they did or where going to do all he cared about was Bruno and his Family. Eventually they all moved back to Berlin after a few weeks, which was also not much different because of grandmother, but they couldn’t handle the pain in Out-with. But no matter where they are in the world, they will never forget about Bruno, ever.