John Boyne uses very simple language in his novel The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas, which makes the story authentic, since it is written from the point of view of a nine-year-old boy. For this reason, the sentence structure is very straightforward. As a result, the reader is led through the text with a childlike, naive narrative style. 

The literal speech is almost always presented directly. In addition, the entire novel is written in the past tense. This, too, is part of the overall concept of this novel, since the narrator explains at the end that the events are already far in the past. Some linguistic and stylistic peculiarities stand out.

Bruno's mispronunciation

Although Bruno is already nine years old, he mispronounces the words related to Nazism. Instead of talking about the Führer, he talks about the "Fury". This makes stylistic sense, since Bruno has supposedly never heard of the Führer and does not know what the Führer does. 

Bruno also mispronounces the name of the Auschwitz camp. He always speaks only of "Out-With". At the beginning of the text, this is still understandable, since he is new to this place and has never heard of it before. Later, however, he is corrected several times by his family members. Therefore, Bruno hears the correct pronunciation but does not accept it. This does not mean that Bruno is not intelligent. It shows that he has nothing at all...

The text shown above is just an extract. Only members can read the full content.

Get access to the full Study Guide.

As a member of, you get access to all of the content.

Sign up now

Already a member? Log in