Bruno

Sensitive and smart

The main character of the novel The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas by John Boyne is Bruno, who is about nine years old. He is not "as tall" (Chapter 3, 25%) as other boys his age, which bothers him somewhat. His father is a Commandant. His mother does not work. He has an older sister, Gretel. Bruno's family is wealthy and lives in a large house in lively Berlin. Bruno feels comfortable there, partly because he has three best friends named Karl, Martin, and Daniel. The friends often play together and love adventures.

When he grows up, he wants to become an "explorer" (Chapter 7, 90%). For this reason, Bruno also reads adventure novels like Treasure Island to learn more about exploring from these books.

One day, however, his mother informs him that the whole family is moving. Once Bruno arrives in his new home, he quickly gets bored because there are no other children his age living there. He doesn't feel at home in the new house and wants to go back to Berlin. 

Bruno tries to convince his parents to go back to Berlin, but he doesn't succeed. Eventually, he comes to terms with the new environment. Bruno is very creative and starts to find ways to fight his boredom, so he builds himself a swing. Bruno is smart and sensitive. He observes his surroundings and the people around him very closely, which is why he notices the smallest changes in their behavior. For example, he notices that his mother gets along better with Lieutenant Kotler than with her husband and that she is unhappy when Kotler is transferred. Furthermore, he notices when the Jewish kitchen assistant, Pavel, looks more exhausted than usual at dinner. 

Bruno and his family

Because of this sensitivity and his strong sense of family, Bruno’s relationship with each person is always very special. He gets along very well with his mother, as she cares for him . From her, Bruno learns manners and how to behave. Bruno is obedient. He always tries to follow the rules of his parents. Therefore, he is also polite to the servants of the family and treats them with respect.

Bruno's father, on the other hand, is very strict with his children and is rarely at home. The father is an authority figure for Bruno, as he also tells Bruno what he is not allowed to do. For example, Bruno is n...

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