The opposite

Propaganda is an important theme in the novel The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas by John Boyne. Propaganda is the targeted broadcasting of a particular ideology with the aim of influencing people's actions and thoughts. In doing so, people are manipulated in the interests of a minority. Propaganda is used primarily in politics. 

After Hitler came to power, the Nazis immediately began terrorizing other races. They created an image in which the Jews were portrayed in newspapers and on posters as enemies of the Germans. They were to be kept away from the Germans and at the same time destroyed. For this reason, the anti-Jewish propaganda is characterized by inhuman beliefs. The language used expresses hatred and aggressiveness. The Nazis portray the Jews as animals or subhumans, while the Germans are portrayed as a strong people that should rule.

This view is held in the novel by Gretel and by Bruno's father. The Father explains to Bruno that the Jews are "not people at all" (Chapter 5, 88%). Gretel, in turn, describes the Germans as the "opposite" (Chapter 16, 60%) of the Jews. Both characters consider the placement of the Jews in a camp and thus the separation of Jews and Germans to be necessary.

Bruno witnesses the deportation of Jews as he stands at the train station with his mother and sister. Again, the poor treatment of the Jews is hinted at, as there are too many people in a single train car. Bruno wonders at this point why a few people don't just get into their train compartment with them, since it is almost emp...

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