4 de noviembre de 2009

THE BOY IN THE STRIPED PYJAMAS, John Boyne


Books about the Holocaust are never easy to read. Some are terrifying and some make the reader nauseous. However, this book approaches this period in history from a new and interesting angle and tells a memorable and moving story of what might have happened. I hope you enjoy reading it and post your comments.

88 comentarios:

Cristina dijo...

Hello everybody,we´ve read two chapters of the novel so far and it´s time you started posting your comments.It will help you a lot to improve your English.

What do you think of Bruno? Is he a happy child?How would you feel if you were in his place?

Ana Coca 1C dijo...

1-2.Well, I think that Bruno is a normal child but he is living a hard experience. because a removal in childhood means that you lose everything that you met and in Bruno´s opinion the new house is horrible.

3.When I was child I had made a lot of removals and it was sad to me too, but now I know that mades me stronger.

Hope dijo...

Bruno is the normal member of the family. His family is the strange part in the story. We can see a family in which the father takes all the decissions without asking the rest. Bruno is the only one that argues these decissions. Before he arrives at the new house, he is really happy, but now, his little world has disappeared.

If i was Bruno i would ask for reasons.

María Ruisánchez dijo...

I think that Bruno is so serious, responsible and a very polite boy for his age, perhaps, this happen because the education of children in 40´ was more strict. I have the impression that children of those time was more mature than the child of now. I think that in this book, Bruno will lose his infantile illusion for always. That is very hard.

Anónimo dijo...

I found this site using [url=http://google.com]google.com[/url] And i want to thank you for your work. You have done really very good site. Great work, great site! Thank you!

Sorry for offtopic

Cristina dijo...

Welcome to the blog! Very good comments,you see it´s not so difficult to express your opinions. You´ve just started reading an unabridged book as students in Intermediate 1 and you´re doing it very well.

Ana,it´s clear that Bruno is having a very bad time with the change of house, but I´m not so sure about what you say, that it will make him stronger,as in your case.Some people find it very difficult to adapt to new situations.Remember the past of MAKE is MADE without "s".

Hope, which is your group?It´s true that Bruno´s father is very bossy, he ignores his children´s opinion, but if they have to move becuse he´s been promoted I don´t think it´s for the children to say anything. The problem is what the promotion means and what he hasn´t explained to his family, it´s very unfair.

María, I´m of the same opinion, children in the forties were more mature than now and the discipline in the families was different. It´s very sad now to see the way many children address adults with a complete lack of respect and nobody tells them off. Remember the "s" for the third person "this happenS".

Anonimo, thanks for your words, you can contribute to the blog sending your posts if you like.

Mercedes R dijo...

In my opinion Bruno is very nice, honest and polite, but I want to speak of Gretel because she is not so ideal.
She wants to believe that her father can never do any wrong and she looks for incredible explanations about your new life. Does she prefer not to know the reality? How many people do like her?

Ana lopez dijo...

I think that Bruno is happy in Berlin, Although he´s afraid of his father .I think that sons are to respect their parents and they aren´t afraid them.

Iván Alfaro dijo...

I think Bruno's a very special and sensitive boy. He's only a child but sometimes he has a mature way of analyze some matters of the life. For example, in the last chapter we've read, when he and his sister see the children from the window. Gretel thinks that they look filthy and she doesn't want them to play with. But Bruno thinks that maybe they don't have the opportunity to take a bath. In adition, he's surprised about the fact that all of the people in that place are wearing the same clothes.

Pedro Castilla dijo...

I can see a typical family where the wife looks after the children and she manages at home. The father is working all day. He doesn´t frequently see his children. I believe that Bruno is afraid of his father. It seem that he doesn´t have the same relationship with his mother that his father. In my opinion, today this has changed and fathers have a close relationship with teirs children.

Cristina dijo...

It´s great to see more posts in the blog! You´ll soon realise how beneficial it is for your English.

Mercedes,I´m of the same opinion as you, there´s a big difference between Bruno and Gretel. She seems to be a very selfish and insensitive girl and doesn´t want to see the real world. It´s true that many people react in the same way when it comes to facing the disagreable and hard moments of life.What happens when the news shows us the hunger and poverty in the third world? We look aside and change the channel, we´re cowards and don´t take action.
But Gretel is not only a coward, as Ivan says she despises those children because they are dirty while Bruno tries to find an explanation, he really is very mature for his age.
(Remember that we use-ing after the preposition "of"..a mature way of analisING..)
I agree with Pedro and Ana that Bruno is afraid of his father, but I´m not so sure if it is because things were different 50 years ago or because Bruno´s father wasn´t affectionate with his child and was more interested in his professional situation than in his own family.The figure of the father today has changed, but for the better or for the worse...? betwwen parents and childre

Paloma de Vivero dijo...

In my opinion, isn´t very happy because, suddenly, his little world has change. He was lucky with his big house in Berlin and his friends "for all the life". Bruno doesn´t know where are him actually.
If I was in his place I would feel the same.
Finally, he has to speak with his "stupid" sister only.

Paloma de Vivero dijo...

Excuse me: he isn´t very happy

Cristina dijo...

Paloma, you saw your mistake when you saw it written, that´s the good thing about posting your comments you pay more attention to the structure of the language.Also remember the -ed "...his world has changeD", and the sentence "Bruno doesn´t know where his friends ARE now".
You seem to dislike his sister,I have the same feeling but I´m not so sure if it is because of her personality or because she´s a teenager, and somebody said in class that most teenagers have the same selfish attitude to other people´s problems.

Mercedes R dijo...

Personality, I think that all of us are a bit like Gretel. Looking at other side and thinking "there is nothing I can do" are habitual conduct. Gretel helps us to understand that happened.

Sergio González dijo...

I like a lot the page 50 of the book. I think that Bruno is very brave. This part is moving.

María Ruisánchez Ortega dijo...

Today, I would like writing about the mother because this woman knows the true meaning of the name "Out-with". She´s very submissive inasmuch as she follows her husband and she takes her children towards the horror. I think that she could have stayed in her house in Berlin, although her husband is very strict. If I were the mother , I wouldn´t permit to move my children to a prison. I think she will regret in the near future, because before she left her house in Berlin, she says: "We should never have let the Fury come to dinner"

guille vallverdu dijo...

aaah

guille vallverdu dijo...

Sorry for " aaah ", I had some problems to write here in.
Hi Cristina, I everybody!!!
Firstly,Personally is not easy to read about the holocaust again;that is very interesting for some people and some cultures but I think we hadn't learnt anything of it and currently there are many genocidies and many big walls in the world that I had prefered to read and to talk about.
Secondly;I don't agree with Ana;
the children aren't in a prison; people who are wearing striped pyjamas are in the huts and they are the prisoners. And we can't forget that it's about 1943 so the mother doesn't choice.

guille vallverdu dijo...

sorry, I disagreed Maria.
best wishes Maria.

Cristina dijo...

Welcome to the blog, Guillermo and Sergio, I hope you keep posting.
I also found Bruno´s words moving on page 50, you need courage to say those things to such an authoritarian person as Bruno´s father.(Notice: " page 50" no article "the")
As for the mother,I´m of the same opinion as María,she could have done something to prevent her husband from taking their children to such an awful place.(Notice: "I would like TO WRITE,not "writing").
It´s true that at that time, as Guillermo says, women couldn´t choose and they had to obey their husbands but when it comes to our children´s welfare all women are capable of summoning up the courage to oppose unfair decisions.
However, I agree with Guillermo that the ones who are in prison are the people in the striped pyjamas, not Bruno´s family, at least in the literal sense of prison.
Notice: "the mother can´t CHOOSE not "choice".
I know the topic of the holocaust doesn´t appeal to everybody but it´s not that easy to choose a book which pleases everyone.

hope dijo...

Why? That is the permanet question on Bruno's mind. He is the only family member who has the courage as to demand answers, the only one who challenges the father's autority, the only one who sees the reality. Like in "the emperor's new clothes" tale, he is as the innocent who sees the naked reality around the emperor (the father)

Anónimo dijo...

the story tell it about one boy of nine, son of a Nazi commandant of Auschwitz concentration camp in the middle of World War II. Bruno, with nine years discovered the horror of war despite the continued efforts of his father because he does not care what goes on outside the house. At the end of the day, he prefered playing with your friends.

María Ruisánchez Ortega dijo...

Surely, the literal prison is for the people in striped pyjama, but isn´t Bruno in one prison too? I agree with Guille about the topic, it´s very hackneyed. Other wars or genocides are forgotten in books or movies, but this is the book that we are reading this course, so we have to express an opinion about it.

Cristina dijo...

Well, there doesn´t seem to be many people interested in posting their comments, it´s a pity they don´t take advantage of this tool to improve their English. however, I´ll keep encouraging the few ones who are already using it.
María, it´s true that there are too many books and films about the Holocaust, but this book is not only about that.Bruno, the main character, makes us think about the feelings and reactions we had as children, he´s not so different from us in spite of living a tragic period in history. As Hope says, he has the innocence and courage most children have at the age of nine.
And what about the father? Has chapter 6 changed your mind about him?In the previous chapters he appeared to have the profile of a nazi, a person who wanted to control people,including his family, and who despised those who were different from him, like when he said to Bruno that the people in the striped pyjamas are not people.But now when María tells Bruno all the things the father did for her and her mother I saw him from a different perspective, a man with feelings, capable of having sympathy for other people´s suffering.What do you think?

Mercedes R dijo...

In my opinion Bruno´s father behaves in this way because that is what he thinks he must do. Charity is a way of feeling well and a way of cleaning us consciences. Surprisingly many bad people have an exemplary behavior in home.

Mercedes R dijo...

Excuse me for the mistakes! I want to say that the father acts in this way because Maria´s mother was a friend for his mother. This family doesn´t seem to have money problems, and the father is under an obligation to do this. On the other hand, when he offers a job to Maria he obtains an uncondicional maid.

Iván dijo...

Hello
I've seen the last comments and firstly, I would like to say that, in my opinion, this book is a really good choice for this English course. Last year we read the book "A story of Britain" (or something similar, I don't remember it very well) and I think it was quite boring. I think this year's book is very interesting because we can know History through the eyes of particular people, specially with the point of view of a young boy, Bruno. Even though there are many books & films about Germany's history, I think this book can touch us in a emotional way.
However, about the father, I think our view can change a little with last chapters, but there's a line in the book where he tells Bruno that people in the huts can't be called "people", and I think it shows us the real cruel personality of the father.

Hope dijo...

Well, we are beginning to see various sides of the father. Also Maria realises that the father might be different. But Gretel...that hopeless case; reminds me the last time i wanted to strangle a teenager.

María Ruisánchez dijo...

I think that father has a right conduct inside the world in he lives. In fact, he is one rol model to follow for the society of the moment. In the social hierarchy, he has a good consideration and reputation as serius and important man. I think he hasn´t doubts about morality. Because, he has his own morality. For he, the correct is he does it. So for his behavior with María, I agree with Mercedes, he helped her because her mather was his mather´s friend. In short, he thinks that he has always reason and his point of view about life is the only and the right.

Cristina dijo...

It´s good to see new posts.María and Mercedes are right when they say that Bruno´s father is not such a generous person and that he only helped María´s mother because she was his own mother´s friend, but even in that case he could have looked aside and refused to help her.I think human nature is very complicated and some times we have contradictory feelings and behaviour, don´t you know anybody who is an angel at home and a devil with the rest of the world? I´m sure we´ve all heard of criminals and terrorists who were very good to their own people.
María, notice :"he´s always right" not"" has always reason".
"..for him" not "..for he"
Iván, welcome to the blog.I´m glad you´re enjoying the book.You´ve also seen the cruel personality of the father, but as María says we have to consider what things were right at that time in that place, although I don´t think this an excuse as there were other people who chose to oppose the ideas of the Fury, perhaps it was more difficult in the military world.
Hope, I know what you mean by strangling a teenager,it´s true that Gretel can be annoying, bad mannered and a bit cruel at times, but taking into account that she´s only thirteen we can understand....

David Muñoz dijo...

This is my first comment, but I promise to post some others....I think that Bruno is very sensitive and brave. He analyse the reality with his child's eyes and, he sometimes says something that nobody dare to say. We should be all as honest and sincere as Bruno

Cristina dijo...

Welcome to the blog, David.I hope you keep your promise.Bruno is indeed very sensitive and brave, something we cannot say of all nine-year-old children, but somehow it´s easier to say what you think when you are an innocent child.I´ve always heard that only children, drunkards and crazy people tell the truth.When we become adults we have more prejudice, we consider what the others will think, and we lose our courage to be sincere.
Don´t forget the -s for the third person: ..."analyses"

Sergio González dijo...

Finally I find a resemblance to Bruno, it looks like her grandmother. She is the only sensible person in this family. I like to see someone besides Bruno is able to cope with Ralf.

PETER dijo...

Today I finally decided to write here, about the book.
I think the author wants to give another vision on the Jewish extermination by the Nazis. Use the innocence of a child, who doesn't understand very well what's going on around them.
In a simple language and a bit of irony also shows a Nazi family. Bruno's family.
I don't like the ending. It is very predictable.

Cristina dijo...

I´m glad to see a new post, welcome Peter, and please keep posting.It´s not enough to write just once and then forget about it for the rest of the course. The book provides a lot of ideas to comment and in every class people come up with something different, it also brings us memories of our childhood.

As Peter says, it shows us a Nazi family through the boy´s eyes, but it´s not only the war they talk about.Today we commented on the Christmas traditions in Bruno´s family, the way the children dressed up and performed little plays for their parents, Did you use to do something similar on Christmas Eve?

We also discussed which subjects are useful and useless in this day and age. We had different opinions as some people, like me, consider that reading and art is more important than maths.I´d like to know your opinion, your favourite subjects when you were at school and the ones which have been more useful in your adult lives. Bruno´s teacher said that social sciences are the most important, do you agree with him?

Sergio, you´re right, Bruno takes after his grandmother, they seem to be the only people who oppose the father´s ideas.As for the mother it´s not clear which side she is on, in the previous chapters she looked unhappy and ashamed of her husband but in chapter eight she seems to be proud of him, what do you think?

Mercedes R dijo...

I am going to tell our performance at Christmas. When I was a child my parents harly ever went out to dinner with their friends. However every 31st of December they used to go out to celebrate the New Year. Then my old brothers and sisters looked after me and my other younger brothers. In practice nobody took care of the children. My parent´s house was full. Friends, girlfriends and boyfriends came to the party. I liked that night. In the morning, we went to living room where my parents had left the "cotillon" bags for us.

PETER dijo...

Hello,I am writing again about the book. I think that Brunos's mother is in a dificult position. She don't like the war because is a sensible woman, but she is in love to her husband and her family.
About my childhood in chritsmas I didn't do performances like Bruno's family but I did theater plays in the school when the course finished.
I think reading, art and math are very important for a person. You can use each one in diferents moments in your live.
I hoppe to see you here very soon.
Good weekend.

Mercedes R dijo...

In my opinion all subjects obligate brain to work, so it are useful. The question is ....What really mean useful? Having knowledge of plumbing is very useful, but not many people study it.
When I was a child I liked art, literature, maths, gimnastics, history...
I think the teacher is who makes that you love one subject.

Sergio González dijo...

Chapter 10 is beautiful, just imagine that there are two children who have just met in the schoolyard.
About the chapter 9, the mother got me a little misplaced, because sometimes she is sensible and other times she seems delighted with her social position.

Pacopepe dijo...

Hello every readers, this is my first post and as it usually happens to me, I hope not to be rambling.

At first, the book subject and predictable end ( mainly because it has been told to me) seems to me so unpleasant that I would like to be unaware of it. It´s so out of mind, how educated and so called developed society could carry out such self destruction. Maybe one of the most interesting subjects and situations along the story is the disagreement of some members of the family with the situation and the father´s career.

Paloma dijo...

Hello!!!This is the first time that I write in this blog.

Referring Cristina´s question, I celebrate with all the family (my grandmother,my uncles, my aunts, my cousins and me) on Christmas, Eve.Only in this day, we play to Bingo.It´s a tradition.

Regarding the chapter ten, you can see that the most important in the world are the people. Never mind the religion, the culture or cuntry.Bruno don´t think that he shouldn´t speak with Shamuel for being different. The most important is that he meet a new friend.

Even day we should learn of Bruno.

Paloma dijo...

I don,t say that I,m Paloma Anadón (INTERMEDIATE 1-G) ......Sorry

Pedro Castilla dijo...

Hello, I think that all the subjects are very important for our personal formation. I don´t know that maths is the best and literature is the worse. Then when the people work, the enterprise looks after on the job training.
When I was child I liked the gimnastics, and I also liked the history.
About the chapter ten, I can see two children in different situation, Bruno is better personal situation than Shamuel, although Bruno isn´t aware of it.

Ana lopez dijo...

I´ve Liked the chapter ten because it is very tender and innocent.
I agree with Bruno I didn´t like geography, When I was a child I liked very much biology and natural science, I wanted to be a doctor and so I could help to people.At the moment I´m a chemist and I´m very pleased with my profession.

Iván Alfaro dijo...

Hello everybody...and happy new year!
About Christmas Eve, in my house there was always a big dinner and party decoration. And I have a special memory of typical Christmas Eve TV show with "Martes y 13", don't you?

And about the book, I think Bruno's teacher is acting under the education rules of that history's time. I think at that moment, children weren't supposed to learn art or literature because this kind of subjects are very good for imagination and personality development. And I think when you read a lot you learn, and you have freedom to think.
Bruno's teacher only teaches German History and maths; in this way, Bruno is submitted to his country, to a political ideology. He learns in an only way which purpose is to serve his country.

I have tried but it's very difficult to explain this idea in English!

Neli dijo...

Hello everybody; also it´s my first time writting here, so I hope continue in the future.About the subjects discussion I agree with Pedro, I think all the subjects are important for a complete education altough each person has own favorites subjects,so when you choose the career you can develop your knowledge in the fields that you prefer.
About the chapter 10, I feel a bit ashamed about Bruno, Samuel shows that his knowledge about geography are really better than Bruno, who thinks Germany and berlin are the only place where you can live or Know.In instance Bruno has a bad feeling about this, and promise pay more attention in the geography classes.

Maria Jesus Cuadrado dijo...

Samuel there are many in the world, also many Bruno; but we are created so many fences between them that we only distinguish, as much, blobs and we don´t want it dirty our confortable lifes.
Only when a disaster appear on the other side of the fence we worry a little bit of that speck for some, blob for other (depending on the curiosoty of each), and we try to simpathize with them, until everithing is forgotten and we return again to our daily routine...... and so again and again.

Mercedes R dijo...

Hello again!
I think mother Bruno´s doesn´t like the situation and try to stop the discussion for protect her children. Although she isn´t proud at all, she don´t want that Bruno and Gretell listen the grandmother´s words

Hope dijo...

What a sad childhood!Neither friends, nor classmates, only awful adults and his foolish sister around this poor little boy.
I personally undestand why he misses his grandmother and his life before.
My Christmas weren't as enjoyable as Bruno's ones used to be, but I had friends to spend time with.
About the Social Sciences thing, there are teachers who know how to make us love those subjects as they do. That's why people like me love them, and other people hate them. If you like Social Sciences, that's because you need them in your life.

Anónimo dijo...

This is about chapter ten.
Ana, intermediate I-C

I think teachers can influence over their pupils. In fact, Bruno remembered what Liszt has taught him about explores as Columbus and Vespucci. Bruno forgot what his parents have banned him to do. He committed the mistake of going to explore around the fence. The only thing he foun was "to find Shmuel", the boy who was sitting on the ground. He is living in the Camp where there are many boys but nobody to play with. Shmuel has a forlorn expression and a special feeling as well. He doesn´t like to play fighting as the other ones did. He is a good boy. He got to the Camp because German people believed themselves they were superior to other human being.
Bruno used to be happy meeting Shmuel. He said, "We are like twins".
I wonder myself if was it worth Bruno finding Shmuel?.

Leticia dijo...

I've finished Chapter ten, in this chapter it's clear that Bruno needs somebody that makes him see the reality. His Grandmother isn't close him, she is the only person who can help him to understand what it's really happening. His Mother doesn't want to know it, because she is proud with her husband in a hight position, although she doesn't like Out-With and she was sad when they moved from Berlin, but her only concern is the welfare of her family, no the one of other families.
So, Shmuel will be the one who will open his mind.

Anónimo dijo...

Hi! I'm Jorge chapter ten describes the feelings of a bored child who try to make his life more exciting and find something intresting to do since he's the only child there.I'm so identify with bruno because I remember my mind when I was little and I had the same feelings as bruno in out-with.

Cristina dijo...

Well done!!! I´m very happy to see so many posts this weekend,and very good comments they are! I hope you´ll keep on writing,it´s very useful for your English.

Now, let´s get to the point. I see that you have different Christmas traditions and different preferences but there´s always something in common with Bruno despite the different period and country.
As for the subjects,I agree with Mercedes, Pedro and Nely when you say that everything we learn is useful, but I still think that some subjects make your life more pleasant and broaden your mind, such is the case of literature, while others are simply necessary to survive in this world.
Mercedes notice the word order: "What does useful really mean?"
Pedro: the article "the" is not used:"gymnastics","history"people",
Nely, ...favourite subjects.. no "s" with the adjective. "for instance" not "In instance. I also feel that Bruno´s knowledge of geography is very poor. What about nine-year-old children today? Do they know where Denmark is?

Cristina dijo...

Iván,you made yourself clear, Bruno´s deficiency in his education was due to the political situation in his country, it´s very sad to see how dictators manipulate people, but in a way something similar is happening today,children at school only learn about the place they live in, not even their own country. How can we expect them to know about the rest of the world?

As for chapter 10,it´s really moving and full of tenderness,as Ana López says,but at the same I agree with Hope that it´s very sad to see how Bruno grows up without friends and other children, only surrounded by adults, but it´s even sadder to see Shmuel growing without food, without freedom and separated from his mother.Both suffer the consequences of the war but in different ways.In the end, as Paloma says the most important thing in life is our relationship with other people and Bruno has found a friend.
Ana López, notice...I could help people.. not TO people.
Paloma: ...the first time I´ve written ...(present perfect) Bruno DOESN¨T think... (third person)

Very interesting posts, I´ll comment the rest tomorrow.

Maria Jesus dijo...

I´m sorry: "We are created", is "we´ve created" and "everithing" is "everything"

Anónimo dijo...

This is about chapter eleven
ANA A. Interm. I C

When the Fury announced his arrival it caused a great chaos at Father´s house. Father had an important problem ahead him, while his wife was thinking of going to the theatre. Father knew his success would depend on that meeting. He began to set the ground rules saying to every one what they had to do.
Bruno´s behaviour was faultless. He was very kind talking with the Fury´s wife even though when his shoes were a little tight on him and they were pinching his feet.
Bruno doesn´t like the Fury. He thought "what a horrible man". "He was the rudest guest Bruno had ever witnessed".
On the other hand, Gretel broke the rules telling Bruno "idiot" and interrupting him talking to the Fury´s wife. She was jealous of the attention that Bruno was getting.Bruno is, as always, very clever, he was hearing parents´voices,they had a big discussion wherein he could hear phrases as...What would happen is I would be taken away and treated like a...," said Father. ..I don´t want to hear another word on the subject...," said Father too.
Situations are difficult to understand not having another choice as Father was.He had to take care of his family, at the same time to take on what the Fury orders him to do.
What would happen if Father didn´t it?. Would be he sent to the Camp by the Fury,wearing on striped pyjamas?
I would never want to be into that situation.

Cristina dijo...

Pacopepe,the story indeed reveals an aweful and shameful part of contemporay history but despite the terrible memories I find it pleasant to read as Bruno and Shmuel are charming and it´s very enjoyable to see the way they see life. Notice: "every" is singular ..."every reader"

Leticia, I also think that Bruno´s mother only worries about her own family, she may seem a bit selfish but considering the situation they were going through perhaps this was
the only option she had.
Notice:.."close TO him".."proud of"..

Mª Jesus, it´s good to see you correct yourself, that´s why this blog is good practice, you can identify your mistakes.I´m of the same opinion as you, we easily forget other people´s misfortune.
Notice:.."the disaster happenS".. "coMfortable liVes"..

Jorge, you seem to understand Bruno, he´s not so different from pther children. Notice:" I am identifIED..." "I remember..." not "I remember my mind"

Ana A, your posts are good but you must try to give your opinion rather than summarize the chapters.
Notice: .."influence their pupils".. not "over" " I wonder if ..." this is an affirmative sentence so you don´t use inversion " I wonder if it was worth finding....

Anónimo dijo...

This is about chapter twelve
ANA. A. Interm. I-C

Bruno´s and Shmuel conversation is full of innocence. Social differences are fair.
Bruno came back home with the idea of trespassing the wire in his mind. He knew he was going to do a dangerous thing which he would never be allowed to do. He was proud of himself and how much he had discorered. He thought of hiding the fact to his parents so it would not hurt them. I suppose, he was afraid of punishment.
Bruno had a terrifying temptation and his enthusiasm took him to a very complicated situation. I think that children are children and Bruno´s parents should have had more control Bruno´s steps, not losing their glance in any case about him. Some times we say, if we avoid the occasion we can avoid dangers as well.

Mercedes R dijo...

Bruno doesn´t realize the Shmuel´s awful situation. In fact, on the way he eat the food that I thought he take for his friend. Bruno hears but he doesn´t listen. Shmuels doesn´t look like well, he is frightened and Bruno suggest him to put on a jumper. Can he be such naive!
I think he is a bit selfish.

Anónimo dijo...

ANA A.
Interm. I-C

Lieutenant had an inadmissible behaviour with Pavel. The fact a bottle of wine dropped on himself never could cause a fact as the occurred one. He should had been sympathetic with Pavel. He was an old man and he had some difficult to walk on his feet and his hands were trembling at the same time. Lieutenant was a helper of father and, a chip off the old block. He had father´s confidence. The worst thing, in my opinion, was the fact that nobody had the bravery to stop the aggression. Father and Lieutenant, both of them, had drunk too much of wine. Father who had always been a thoughtful man was unable to stop the incident. I think he was not aware of the problem. Mother,Gretel and Bruno were dead of fear. The brave of Bruno was going to cry.
Bruno had reason when he said he doesn´t like Lieutenant. Shmuel was scare of him and I don´t like him neither.
Bruno was very grateful of Pavel to take him up and healed his wound. Pavel did a very good thing even when he could get into trouble.
Poor Bruno!, he got a great feeling and much distress about things happened to Pavel.

I think that inexperienced persons are often capable of confusing his assignment.
Lieutenant had a bad temper and his post was too big to him.

Cristina dijo...

Mercedes, it´s obvious that Bruno is not aware of the hard situation Shmuel is going through.It seems difficult to believe that he can be so naive, perhaps this is the weakest point in the novel, two children the same age and so different in their understanding of the facts.We know that their experiences are totally different, Bruno is overprotected while Shmuel is suffering but anyhow they are supposed to have the same capacity to understand what is going on.
Remember the third person:...he eatS,... he takeS..he suggestS..
The verb "suggest" is not followed by infinitive, it´s followed by "ing" or a clause.

Ana, I agree with you, nobody was brave enough to defend Pavel from Kotler´s aggression.It was very sad and depressing and made one think of all the injustice in the world.
Notice: ..he was right..not ..he had reason.
..he was scareD.
..I don´t like him EITHER..
..about the things WHICH happened to Pavel..
..the fact THAT a bottle of wine...

Iván Alfaro dijo...

We have seen Bruno seems to be very naive in contrast with Shmuel. If Bruno had been brave and sensible in all these unfair situations, I think we would see him as a sort of hero, I mean, as a strong character with the power to make important decisions and to judge for himself. And I think this is the clue of the differences between Bruno and Shmuel. I think the writer doesn't want us to see Bruno as hero but as a victim. Bruno doesn't know the real world, the danger, the political conflict, so the ignorance turns Bruno into the true victim of this story.

Anónimo dijo...

This is about chapter 14
ANA A. Interm. I-C

Bruno felt astonished when he saw Shmuel´s the black eye but Shmuel refused to speak about it. I think there is a mystery around this affair. Perhaps somebody could have hit him. He had two great enemies, the boy Luka and Lieutenant Kotler. Shmuel was scared of all those people.

Bruno speaks from his heart. He wanted the best for Shmuel and he thought they could live together in father´s house. Bruno didn´t know what it meant. Father would never permit Shmuel to live at his house.
It was raining and Bruno had to stay at home reading a book and speaking to Gretel. He regrets saying he should be seeing his new friend stead of staying at home. He confused and lied to Gretel saying he had an imaginary friend. Gretel is a little jealous of him and she speaks about other her imaginary friend too. They disagree and she leaves to her bedroom while Bruno tried reading his book again.

In my opinion, Bruno mentioned his new friend because he had a matter preying on his mind and he didn´t realize then he began to speak to. Afterwards he tried to make up a real confusion. He didn´t want to give any explanation related with his explorations. The secret was for him.

María Ruisánchez dijo...

Hi,

I want recommend you this interview to John Boyne in the tv program: Página 2. In spite of they speak about his new novel, the interwiu is interesting because John Boyne speaks a good and clear English and it´s a oportunity to meet the author.

Bye,
María Ruisánchez

The link:

http://pagina2.rtve.es/programa.php?p=8613985ec49eb8f757ae6439e879bb2a#

Cristina dijo...

Maria, thanks for the link to the interview with John Boyne,very interesting and useful for EVERYBODY!!!
I´ve listened to two interviews, one in which he talks about the novel we are reading and the one you mentioned in which he talks about his new novel.Both are really worth listening to, his English is beautiful and clear.
DON´T MISS THEM !!

Notice: " in spite of the fact that + subject + verb.... or "in spite of + noun of -ing "

Iván, a very good comment and well written as well.Your perception of the writer´s purpose when he depicts Bruno as a victim is very clearly explained, but still, I feel that the character of Bruno lacks in credibility.I find Shmuel much more credible, I can imagine that any child in a similar situation would behave the same way he does, while I´m sometimes disconcerted by Bruno´s reactions.

Ana, good comment. Notice the verb "try" can be followed by "to" + infinitive , the meaning is "making an effort",
or by -ing the meaning is "making an experiment.In your comment you should have used to + infinitive.

Anónimo dijo...

I THINK THAT THE BOY IN THE STRIPED PYJAMAS IS AN INTERESTING STORY ABOUT A CHILD THAT HE HAS MOVED FROM A CONFORTABLE HOME IN BERLIN TO A HOUSE THAT HE CONSIDERED UGLY AND DESOLATE.
I CONSIDER THAT SITUATION WAS TERRIBLE FOR BRUNO BECAUSE HE CHANGED HIS LIFE .HE HAD HAD A GOOD AND HAPPY LIFE BEFORE HE LEFT HIS HOUSE IN BERLIN.
BRUNO IS AN INNOCENCE CHILD WHO HAD BEEN LIVING A KIND OF LIFE THAT I CONSIDER IT WAS NOT GOOD FOR HIM.I THINK THAT BRUNO´S PARENTS WERE VERY SELFISH AND THEY ONLY THOUGHT ABOUT FATHER´S JOB,BUT THEY FORGOT THE KIND OF PLACE THAT BRUNO AND GRETEL NEEDED FOR LIVE.BRUNO HAS FELT BORING AND ALONE.HE NEEDS OTHER CHILDREN WHO PLAY WITH HIM.NORMA COLLADO F.

Anónimo dijo...

Norma C.
When Bruno met shmuel, a boy in a striped pyjamas, he thought that he had found a friend,but Bruno didn´t understand the reality of this situation.He was happy with his new friend.
Bruno knew that his parents couldn´t accept his friendship with shmuel,because he was living in the other side of the fence;for that reason Bruno avoid to mention this to someone.
I think that Bruno was very ingenuous and immature, because he knew that his behavior wasn´t right,but he didn´t accept the reality.Bruno only wanted to share any moments with shmuel.Sometimes he worried about shmuel,because he have taken some bread and cheese.
I consider that Bruno is a sensitive boy who wants to help Shmueland he enjoys to have a secret

Cristina dijo...

Norma, very good comments!!
I also think that Bruno is a sensitive boy despite his reactions to difficult situations such as the ones we have commented in class.When he has to face Kotler he seems to be a coward but it´s only natural for a nine-year-old child to be afraid of such a bully.
Notice: "to enjoy" is followed by -ing..."he enjoys having a secret".
-"boring" and "bored" are different, Bruno feels BORED.
A book is BORING

Mercedes R dijo...

Hello!
People adapt to the new situations. Not only Bruno has found a friend but also Mother. Both are invisible friends. Althought mother and son don´t know it, both of them live similar situations. They keep something to themselves. It helps them to go a head

Anónimo dijo...

ANA A.
Interm. I-C
This is about chapter fifteen

All was set up for the party. Bruno is remembering as Lieutenant Kotler had shot a dog and when Pavel was hit by him too for the bottle of wine. He hates Lieutenant.
Bruno tries to seem braver than he is really. He said he was the only person in charge at home when his father was away. I think it is his own fantasy. Anyway, he is only nine. Bruno is less brave than he should be when problems come up.
Bruno committed a big mistake to deny knowing his friend Shmuel. Whether this fact were made to father by somebody it would possibly be considered as a treachery.
In my opinion, Bruno wanted the best for his friend but his subconscious failed him. He regrets a lot to have had than horrible reaction. He felt sad and ashamed of himself as things happened. Bruno didn´t stop saying sorry, sorry. His request for forgiveness to Shmuel is worth hearing. He is sensitive and naive at the same time. He tells him that when he fell off of his bike he had his face bruised too.
I admire Shmuel´s generous gesture. He was noble, sincere and absolutely without showing resentment.

Anónimo dijo...

ANA A.
Interm. I-C
This is about chapter fifteen

All was set up for the party. Bruno is remembering as Lieutenant Kotler had shot a dog and when Pavel was hit by him too for the bottle of wine. He hates Lieutenant.
Bruno tries to seem braver than he is really. He said he was the only person in charge at home when his father was away. I think it is his own fantasy. Anyway, he is only nine. Bruno is less brave than he should be when problems come up.
Bruno committed a big mistake to deny knowing his friend Shmuel. Whether this fact were made to father by somebody it would possibly be considered as a treachery.
In my opinion, Bruno wanted the best for his friend but his subconscious failed him. He regrets a lot to have had than horrible reaction. He felt sad and ashamed of himself as things happened. Bruno didn´t stop saying sorry, sorry. His request for forgiveness to Shmuel is worth hearing. He is sensitive and naive at the same time. He tells him that when he fell off of his bike he had his face bruised too.
I admire Shmuel´s generous gesture. He was noble, sincere and absolutely without showing resentment.

Mercedes R dijo...

Hello!
Now we can see what Bruno is like. What a pity! He is an ordinary child, selfish, coward, liar. We can know what we really are like in the difficult situations. In my opinion, at the moment, this is the sadest chapter of the book. Above all, when Shmuel begin to imagine other reality, where he is free and he can move away there.
He is nine but he has already found a way to bear the situation.

Sergio González dijo...

About chapter 16: in this chapter with Gretel happens as with many people today who defend something that does not even know what it is. It is something that is happening today with the teenagers and the not so young, defending things just because they have heard their parents. And Bruno still does not understand anything.

Anónimo dijo...

ANA A.
Interm.I-C
This is about chapter sixteen

Father felt sad in the funeral of Grandmother. She had been very critical with father´s job and his relation with the Fury, who sent a wreath for her.
From now on they are more authentic. Bruno started being happier because Lieutenant Kotler had been transferred and he couldn´t call him little man any more. Parents had a row and Gretel was inconsolable for leaving. She threw her dolls away. Her behaviour turned and she is more pleasant with Bruno. She explained to Bruno every request that he made her about what they were. "They are Jews, Bruno". This mane even sounded well to Bruno. "They must be together with their kind". Bruno has a mess in his head that he is unable to understand what the fence meant. "Are we Jews?" "We are the opposite", said Gretel. He didn´t know who liked who.
The tiny egg brought trouble to Bruno. His hair was shaved. He was like Shmuel, only a little fatter. He felt sad when he saw himself on the mirror. He was almost scared of his own reflection. Father tried to reassure him but he was so disgusted that he cried.
Poor Bruno, he was the victim instead of Gretel. She had much longer hair than Bruno´s and she had discovered the egg at first.
I would say Bruno don´t cry because it takes a few weeks in growing again.

Anónimo dijo...

ANA














ANA A.
Interm. I-C
This is about chapter seventeen

It was time Mother complained. She did a good thing speaking with her husband about their situation at Out-With. She has gone through a lot since they moved from Berlin. Indeed, it would have been very hard for her, who seems too quiet and shy. She took this decision because she couldn´t stand the situation any more. She often spoke with Lieutenant Kotler but he was transferred and she misses him.
Father realized that she felt depressed and her health was getting bad. Nevertheless, he has to continue at Out-With until his assignment finishes. He was faithful with his commitment. Bruno was happy but not at all. He didn´t like Father stayed alone there.
This is incredible!. Bruno, who dreamed with his friends for life, he doesn´t remember their names now. He loved them but he changed his interest for his new friend Shmuel, who filled him with happiness.
Mother, Gretel and Bruno are going to return to Berlin but Bruno is not looking forward to so much because he dreaded to tell Shmuel what they were going to do next week.

Cristina dijo...

I´m sorry I haven´t read your posts till today, but I´ve had some problems with my new laptop.

Mercedes you seem to be disappointed by Bruno´s reaction, so am I,but that´s human nature and we can´t expect a nine-year-old child to behave like a hero.It´s a pity, indeed, but it´s very hard to overcome our fears.

Sergio,I´m of the same opinion as you, many people fight for things or ideas they do not really understand, they just follow the trend.This is really dangerous and many serious conflicts in the world are due to this lack of criteria.What happens to Gretel when she defends her father´s ideas must have happened to many other Germans at that time.

Ana, what happens to Bruno is not
so surprising, we easily forget people we don´t see very often.
It´s more frequent with children than with adults,the older you get the longer you keep your memories, but still we tend to forget and lose contact with people we don´t see regularly.

Let´s see how things turn out in the next chapter.We´re approaching the end of the story!

Anónimo dijo...

WHEN BRUNO FOUND SHMUEL IN HIS HOUSE, HE COULDN´T BELIEVE THIS.IT WAS A GREAT SURPRISE FOR HIM.
ALTHOUGHT BRUNO FELT HAPPY,IT WAS A CONTRADICTORY SITUATION FOR HIM, BECAUSE NOBADY KNEW THAT THEY ARE FRIENDS.
I THINK THAT BRUNO HAD BEEN KINDLY AND SOLIDARITY WITH SHMUEL WHEN HE INVITED SOME FOOD ,BUT SHMUEL DIDN´T ACCEPT,BECAUSE HE FELT AFRAID ABOUT THE REACTION OF KOTLER.I THINK THAT BOTH OF THEM FELT AFRAID ABOUT KOTLER,BECAUSE WHEN KOTLER ASKED ABOUT THEIR FRIENDSHIP,BRUNO TOLD KOTLER THAT HE DIDN´T KNOW HIM,
BRUNO WANTED AVOID THAT KOTLER HURT HIS FRIEND SHMUEL,BECAUSE HE KNEW THAT KOTLER WAS A NASTY AND CRUEL PERSON.
I CONSIDER THAT BRUNO WAS A SENSIBLE BOY AND HE CHOSE THE RIHT DECISION , BECAUSE IT WAS ACCORDING THE SITUATION .AFTER THAT BRUNO FELT VERY BAD AND HE NEEDED TO EXPLAIN SHUMUEL WHY HE ACTED IN THIS WAY.
I THINK THAT BRUNO WAS A RESPONSIBLE BOY WHO ACCEPTED HIS MISTAKE,BECAUSE HE APOLOGIZED TO SHMUEL ABOUT HIS BEHAVIOR,AND SHMUEL WAS AN INTELLIGENT BOY WHO UNDERSTOOD HIM.NORMA C.

Anónimo dijo...

ANA A.
Interm. I-C
This is about chapter 18

Shmuel was worried with his father´s disappearance. He doesn´t like soldiers. He was sure that they didn´t like him as well. Bruno has a big feeling for his father.
Shmuel is a litle innocent thinking about the return of his father.
There is an aim for everyone and they made an arrangement. Bruno thought it would be the best opportunity for life. He could be able to explore and see by himself what was in the other side of the fence before leaving.
On the other hand, Shmuel had someone willing to help him looking for his father.
Bruno was doing two things that he wasn´t allowed to do. Shmuel was too daring of providing him the striped pyjamas, nevertheless, he said to Bruno what dangerous it was. Bruno hesitated about the idea of trespassing the fence but it doesn´t matter him.
Everyone would get their challenge themselves. They were very happy because both of them were going to do their adventure together.

Sergio González dijo...

I've finished the book. I already read it in Spanish but still to read it again has given me grief. I propose for next year read "The Neverending Story" ;-)

Anónimo dijo...

I THINK THAT BRUNO FELT SAD AND CONFUSED WHEN FATHER´S TOLD HIM ABOUT HIS RETURN TO BERLIN,BECAUSE HE THOUGHT ABOUT SHMUEL AND THE MOMENTS THAT THEY SHARED THAT YEAR.IT WAS A SAD SURPRISE FOR SHMUEL TOO.I CONSIDER THAT BRUNO WAS INMATURE WHEN HE DECIDED TO GO TO THE OTHER SIDE OF THE FENCE AND HELP SHMUEL TO LOOK FOR HIS FATHER ,BECAUSE HE KNEW THAT IT WAS PROHIBIT FOR HIM.I THINK THAT HE WAS A LITLE SELFISH BECAUSE BRUNO CONSIDER THIS ACT LIKE AN ADVENTURE.I CONSIDER THAT BOTH CHILDREN WERE IRRESPONSIBLE ,THEY CAN´T IMAGINE THE RISK OF THEIR ACTION.NORMA C.

Anónimo dijo...

I THINK THAT BRUNO FELT SAD AND CONFUSED WHEN FATHER´S TOLD HIM ABOUT HIS RETURN TO BERLIN,BECAUSE HE THOUGHT ABOUT SHMUEL AND THE MOMENTS THAT THEY SHARED THAT YEAR.IT WAS A SAD SURPRISE FOR SHMUEL TOO.I CONSIDER THAT BRUNO WAS INMATURE WHEN HE DECIDED TO GO TO THE OTHER SIDE OF THE FENCE AND HELP SHMUEL TO LOOK FOR HIS FATHER ,BECAUSE HE KNEW THAT IT WAS PROHIBIT FOR HIM.I THINK THAT HE WAS A LITLE SELFISH BECAUSE BRUNO CONSIDER THIS ACT LIKE AN ADVENTURE.I CONSIDER THAT BOTH CHILDREN WERE IRRESPONSIBLE ,THEY CAN´T IMAGINE THE RISK OF THEIR ACTION.NORMA C.

Anónimo dijo...

ANA A.
Interm. I-C
This is about chapter 19

Bruno put his outfit on and left to the fence enjoying while stepping on the mud with his boots. Shmuel stood up because he was wearing the trap on to make their entry into the camp easier.
Bruno spoke about the significance of the outfit. Are you pretending to be a Jew?. said Shmuel, and Bruno said yes, I am.
Bruno went barefoot and they got to arrive to the camp mixing with the people. Bruno felt disappointed. Every thing he could see seemed awful and he thought go back home. And Papa?, said Shmuel.They didn´t find nothing and apologized for not getting their aim at all but people who made marches couldn´t come back.
Suddenly, the whistle blew and they resulted to be prisoners not recognizing to.
Reading this chapter, I would prefer to see it as they do and not as I see from my side. It is too sad for me.
However they are happy all the time. They didn´t do a hug each other but wanted to. They were friends for life and they entered in that horrible room holding his hands together passing away. They were friends and their friendly is admirable. They made their last adventure together thinking that that would be the effects of the rain and storm and when it stopped Bruno would come back home in time to dinner having said Shmuel goodbye for a short time.

Cristina dijo...

I see that some of you have reached the end of the novel and felt the tragedy of the two children in their last day together.

Sergio, no matter how many times you read the story you will always find it as sad as the first time.We´ll talk about your suggestion at the end of the course, it might be a good choice.

Norma,I also think that Bruno is a bit immature and selfish.He´s not really worried about Shmuel´s father, he´s only looking forward to having some fun exploring the other side of the fence.
Notice:" it is prohibitED"
"He apologized to him FOR his behaviour"

Ana,it´s not surprising that Bruno felt so disappointed.He expected to find a more exciting place with children playing and having fun together.It must have been very sad to discover that there was nothing worth seeing on the other side of the fence.The picture of the two children holding hands and walking to their last adventure brought a tear to my eyes.
Notice."he thought OF GOING back home" " they arrived AT the camp"

Mercedes R dijo...

I also think that the book has a deliberate "trick".
We kwew what happened on the other side of the fence. Why do we feel sad now? After all, I think that Bruno doesn´t suffer, because he doesn´t realize the situation. The people in the striped pyjamas are as inocent as Bruno, but they really suffer from Fury´s decisions.
Why only can Father imagine the Bruno´s end? He knows what is happening at the camp. He is responsible for it.

Anónimo dijo...

Thank you very much!
If we hadn´t had so good teacher, we wouldn´t have enjoyed learning.

PETER dijo...

Hallo, Thank you Cristina for the course. It has been the best. I would like to continue learning English with you. I hope in the next course possible. Also Tanks my classmates.
Good summer. See you in October.

Anónimo dijo...

I read this book few weeks ago. It´s quite interesting due to it´s able to make you feel happy about the destiny of the main family. It´s threatening because of the end.

Wilkie Collins

Wilkie Collins