Summary

The novel The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas by John Boyne tells the story of nine-year-old Bruno, who lives with his parents and older sister Gretel in Berlin during World War II. In 1943, his family moves to a new house near the Auschwitz concentration camp in Poland because Bruno’s father has been given a new job there. Adolf Hitler personally assigned him this job. The parents are very educated and are also careful with their children to teach them to be polite.

Bruno is shocked by the new house, as this place has nothing at all in common with his usual surroundings. From his window, he can see a camp surrounded by a fence. However, he has no idea what is happening there or who the people who live there are. When he shows Gretel this view, she is as irritated. .

Bruno tries in vain to convince his parents to move back to Berlin. He misses his friends and grandparents. He is also bored. He cannot play with Gretel either, because she often annoys Bruno and prefers to spend time with her dolls. 

Gretel also finds it difficult to settle into the new place. However, she has a crush on the young Lieutenant Kotler, a close associate of her father. The two talk often. Bruno interrupts one of these conversations to ask Kotler for help, even though Bruno dislikes him.

Bruno would like to build himself a tire swing. Lieutenant Kotler orders the old Jewish camp inmate Pavel, who helps the family in the kitchen and serves them food, to get a suitable tire for Bruno. 

Both Bruno and Gretel are shocked by the Lieutenant’s rough treatment of Pavel. While swinging, Bruno falls and injures his leg. Pavel rushes to his help and takes care of his wounds. In the process, the two get to talking, and Bruno learns that Pavel is actually a doctor. Bruno does not believe him at first.

The relationship between Bruno’s parents also deteriorates. The father is rarely at...

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