In his book “The boy with the striped pyjamas” John Boyne uses many symbols, one of which particularly inspired me. In contrast with other books on the Shoah ( (Hebrew for “destruction”), Boyne decides to put an idea as the main characterin his book. Many would say that it was Bruno, the commandant’s son, or Shmuel, the little polish boy in the camp. But what really Boyne wants is that innocence and ignorance are what the people think about after reading his book. This is demonstrated by the ignorance of little Bruno, who believes his father, and the innocence of both of them, neither knowing what really was going on and what was that people knew or not knew at those times. This symbolism has persuaded me to read further in the book; Boyne wants to emerge from what could be called a layer of banality and tragedy (the books of authors who tried to make a difference telling in stories about the Shoah). He wanted to open the readers eyes, by closing those of two innocent little boys, not at all leaders in what was happening. By Zacc Massagrande
In “The Boy In The Striped Pyjamas”, the author John Boyne uses many different symbols which convey various meanings. The one which mostly interested me, is the one played by Lieutenant Kotler. The soldier, in fact, is a sort of stereotype, meaning that, in the author’s mind, many of the high-graded soldiers were as cold, emotionless and horrible as this character of the book. Lieutenant Kotler represents the sort of prejudices which were thought of this type of men, which may really be true, but we don’t actually have the evidence that every single Lieutenant, Commandant, Tenant or other soldiers of greater importance, were as emotionless and pitiless as Kotler. Maybe some were exactly like this character, but maybe others were the exact opposite, hating their every action against innocent people, but being forced to behave in this way. We will never know, but I sincerely hope that so coldly hearted men existed in such great quantity. Giulia Spigai
In “The boy in the striped pyjama”, John Boyne uses many different symbols; one of these is the Star of David also known as Shield of David in Hebrew. There are many legends behind this symbol, the most common one talks about how a young warrior (which would eventually become King David) created his shield crossing two triangles and covering them with leather. At first it was used in Jewish religion, to wish good luck or to décor monuments, but during WW2 it became the symbol used by Nazis to recognise Jews, like a symbol of shame. John Boyne uses the Star of David in the book to highlight how even a little boy like Shmuel was discriminated because of his religion, showing how Jews had to live under the control of Nazis without having freedom.Allegra Guizzon
I think that one of the most significant symbol which I have found in this book is the “fence”. It symbolizes the destruction from the Holocaust when a mass of approximately six million Jews during World war II, led by Adolf Hitler, were killed in these horrible camps. It also symbolizes how the Nazis separated people (Jews). The house in Berlin represents the memories of Bruno – happy, sad, and tinted. Lots happened in that house and it is through the flashbacks of what happened in the house in Berlin that the reader is able to fit the mystery of the fence together themselves. Emanuele Angi
In John Boyne’s book ‘the Boy in the Striped Pyjamas’, the implication of symbolism is widely used.
Bruno represents the ignorance and innocence of the common German citizens during the 2nd World War, those who weren’t sure the extent of the ghastly deeds commited by German soldiers involving the genocide of the Jews.
In this case, as Bruno encounters puzzling events, he starts asking more questions, and he becomes more involved in his father’s job, whereas before he and his family moved to Auschwits, he never really questioned his father about his job and about what was happening with the Jews. Kalyan Wessendorp
In the boby in the striped pyjamas there is a lot of symbolism, for example the bench or the fence. In the boy in the striped pyjamas the fence for John Boyne represents the separation between two different worlds: the one of Bruno, ” happy “, ( he doesn’t really feel happy at Out With ) and the one of shmuel the boy that is the same age as Bruno but has been forced to live in horrible conditions and to grow up very quickly to adapt to a world of discrimination and racism, to “live” in the concentration camp on the other side of the fence. I also think that for Boyne the fence symbolises the innocence of both the boys, Bruno because he doesn’t know what shmuel represented in those days and Shmuel because he doesn’t know who Bruno’s father is. Both of the boys live in two separate worlds. Valentina Marini
I think that one of the most significant symbol which I have found in this book is the “fence”. It symbolizes the destruction from the Holocaust when a mass of approximately six million Jews during World war II, led by Adolf Hitler, were killed in these horrible camps. It also symbolizes how the Nazis separated people (Jews). The house in Berlin represents the memories of Bruno – happy, sad, and tinted. Lots happened in that house and it is through the flashbacks of what happened in the house in Berlin that the reader is able to fit the mystery of the fence together themselves. Greta Sbirziola
In ‘The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas’ John Boyne uses many symbols which stand for bigger topics. A very interesting example of this is the symbolism he uses when he talks about the barbed wire because he wants to show us how the camp is divided from Bruno’s house, but even how the Jews were divided from the rest of the people. It shows the division that the Nazis wanted to have from Jewish people. Barbed wire is also a wire with clusters of short, sharp spikes set at intervals along it, used in this case, as a sort of obstacle. This shows the harsh way that the Nazis kept the Jews away from the rest of the population. Elena Nalon