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The Boy in Striped Pajamas

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The Boy In The Striped Pajamas: Summary

The movie started with an eight-year-old boy, named Bruno, running across Berlin with his three friends. Bruno is the son of a government official, a soldier of the Nazi period, named Ralf. When Bruno went home, he saw that their things are being prepared and packed by the house servants. He was confused of what’s happening and so his mother, together with his sister, named Gretel, approached him and said something about having good news. Bruno doesn’t have any idea what the good news was about. Later that day, Bruno learned that the good news was about his father being promoted to become a higher-ranking soldier. Because of the promotion, Bruno and his family need to leave Berlin and move to the countryside where their new house is located. He was very reluctant to leave Berlin because he will miss his friends. Eventually, Bruno and his family left Berlin and finally arrived at the countryside. Bruno was very lonely when he first step foot on the place. He cannot see other children whom he can play with. One day, Bruno peeked through his new bedroom’s window and saw what he think was a farm. He then asked his mother if he could play with the children at the farm. At first, his mother agreed to it but when he mentioned that something was strange about the people in the farm, his mother asked him what was it. Bruno answered that the people in the farm are all wearing pajamas. He also mentioned that their servant, named Pavel, is also wearing the odd clothing. That’s when it hit Bruno’s mother about what her son has seen which he shouldn’t have. It was not a farm. It was a Jewish concentration camp. After learning about it, Bruno’s mother decided to close his window and restrict him from going to the back garden. Bruno, being a boy with a wandering and curious mind, decided to sneak out to the back garden. Finally, Bruno arrived at the place he thought was a farm. There, he met a boy his age named Shmuel. Shmuel was also wearing a pajama. Bruno thought Shmuel was playing a game together with the other people inside the camp even though Shmuel already told him that it wasn’t a game. The two of them eventually became friends. Bruno’s sneaking out became frequent and he always brings food with him to feed Shmuel. One day, Bruno’s mother, Elsa, came home from town and smelled the awful smell of something burning. Kurt, one of Bruno’s father’s soldiers, observed Elsa’s reaction to the smell then laughingly said, “they smell even worse when they burn, don’t they?” Elsa realized what Kurt was talking about. She was horrified. After the incident, Elsa and Ralf had an argument. Ralf was angry at Kurt for mentioning something to Elsa about the gas chambers. It was dinnertime when Ralf asked Kurt about his father. Kurt mentioned that his father is a professor of literature. Ralf said something to embarrass Kurt about his father. Kurt, in order to get away from the situation, hit Pavel, the house servant, clothed in the striped pajamas, to death when the former spilled the latter’s wine. One day, Bruno saw Shmuel at the former’s kitchen. Bruno asked Shmuel what is the latter doing there. Shmuel answered that he is summoned there because of his gentle hands. Bruno offered Shmuel food. Shmuel, hungry as always, accepted Bruno’s offer and ate the food. Suddenly, Kurt saw the children. Kurt thought Shmuel stole the food. Shmuel told Kurt that the food he was eating was offered by Bruno because they know each other and they are even friends. Bruno, frightened by Kurt, denied his relation with Shmuel. Later that day, Bruno realized that what he did, denying Shmuel as his friend, was wrong. He came back to the concentration camp for days only to find out that Shmuel wasn’t there. After how many days of repeatedly going to the camp, Bruno finally saw Shmuel again. Bruno saw that there’s a black eye on Shmuel’s right eye. The former, realizing it was his fault, said sorry to the latter. The two eventually became friends and vowed to never leave each other again. When Bruno went home that day, his father summoned him and his sister to talk about something. Bruno’s father, after having another argument with Elsa, finally decided that living with him isn’t good for his family so he asked Bruno and his daughter, Gretel, to pack their things and for the time being, live in their aunt’s house together with their mother. Bruno was hesitant to leave because he was already accustomed living there especially with a friend like Shmuel but his father’s decision was final. He went again to the camp and delivered the sad news about his departure to Shmuel. Shmuel had his own problem. He cannot find his father. Bruno, remembering what he did to Shmuel before, decided to help the latter find his father. He told Shmuel to prepare him a pajama then he will sneak inside the camp by digging under the fences. The next day, Bruno asked his mother to play outside for the last time before leaving the place. He then hurriedly went to the camp and did just what he and Shmuel had planned. Bruno eventually got inside the camp. While inside the camp, Bruno did not have any idea what was happening. The soldiers gathered him and Shmuel together with the others to the gas chambers. They didn’t know what was happening. They thought that they would be given a shower because they were asked to take their clothes off. On the other hand, Elsa was already worried because it’s now time to leave but they cannot find Bruno. It was already too late when they found out that Bruno sneaked out to the back garden and into the camp.

The Boy In The Striped Pajamas: Reflection/Analysis

When I planned to watch the movie, I didn’t expect the ending to wow me and leave me hanging like that. When my friends said it was a great movie about the WWII, I didn’t expect it as anything like it turned out to be. What I was expecting was the typical family from the WWII, which consists of a father who is a soldier that will eventually die because of the war, and a mother who takes care of the children etc. Instead I was surprised with the point of view of an innocent eight-year-old boy from the WWII. As I was watching the movie, I couldn’t help but reflect on the physical abuse the Jews obtained from the Nazis. I said to myself that it was one of the highest forms of racism. I couldn’t fathom how they did that to the Jews. There were many scenes in the movie that struck me. One of those scenes was the scene where Kurt laughingly said, “they smell even worse when they burn, don’t they?” It was as if he didn’t care at all. There wasn’t even an inch of guilt. There was also a scene where Ralf mentioned something about those who were wearing pajamas weren’t even considered as humans. It was so upsetting for me. During that time, I thought of what my instructor in anthropology said about social influence. I couldn’t help but to relate social influence then and now. In the movie, social influence can be seen through Bruno’s sister, Gretel. She was influenced by their tutor to support the Nazis. Gretel immediately thought that it was what was right because that’s the information the tutor was feeding her. She didn’t even think things through. She believed that, because everyone around her was supporting the Nazis, it was also the right thing to do. Society influenced her beliefs. Also, in Bruno and Shmuel’s case, they were taught to be enemies for the main reason that one of them is a Jew and the other is a son of a Nazi soldier. Again, society told them that. In the present times, almost everyone is still influenced by the society. It is the society that tells us what to do and what to not do. Society tells us how we should and should not be. It tells us what and what not to do. It tells as to be ourselves but then judges us when we do.

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