Bruno is nine- year old boy who is growing up in Berlin during the World War II. He
lives in a 5-story house with his parents, his 12-year-old sister Gretel and a few servants.
His father has a very important job and they have just been visited by a man called the
Fury (aka Hitler).
After he visits, his father gets a new uniform and his title is changed to
‘commandant’, and to Bruno’s displeasure the family have to move away to a place
called Outwith (Auschwitz) therefore I will explain stylistic techniques such as narrative
structure, tone and choice of language what shows the perspective of a nine year old boy
in World War II .
So in this essay I will explain what John Boyne’s stylistic techniques in the novel are. I
would also like to say the narrative structure in the novel is very well done; it flows well
with the tone and choice. In chapter ten- Boyne explaining Bruno’s route of adventure is
a good choice of language and tone. “The walk along the fence took Bruno a lot longer
than he expected; it seemed to stretch on and on for several miles. He walked and walked,
and when he looked back the house that he was living in became smaller and smaller
until it vanished from sight altogether.”pg 104 The way Boyne shows the feel of young
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naïve emotions in chapter ten or the feel of looking through a nine year old boys eyes is
fitted in the text very well, it makes the reader feel like Bruno is moving away from a
regimental home to a isolated one, and his only friend is his adventures till he spots the
huts and smoke racks.
“Bruno remembered a book he had read in which a man was lost in the desert and
because he hadn’t had any food or water for several days had started to imagine that he
saw wonderful restaurants and enormous fountains, but when he tried to eat or drink from
them they disappeared into nothingness, just handfuls of sand. He wondered whether that
was what was happening to him now.” (P105) John Boyle also made the reader feel like
when Bruno wasn’t under the command of his father and mother he would go bye his
adventure books as a manual on survival showing such innocent in his mind.
“Why are there so many people on that side of the fence? ‘He asked. ‘And what are you
all doing there?” (P115) There’s a cotton wool sense to this young boy were his parents
think of him to young to know the truth about the war but I find if he knew more about it
some things would of ended differently, but as he wasn’t told he become to much of an
adventurer, gullible or naïve to a great story.
“Down below he saw the door to father’s office standing open and a group of five men
outside it, laughing and shaking hands. Father was at the centre of them and looked very
smart in his freshly pressed uniform. His thick dark hair obviously been recently
lacquered and combed, and as Bruno watched from above he felt both scared and in awe
of him.” (P 42)
There’s also this desperation for Bruno to want a loving father the way Boyne portrays
him, booming voice, powerful and a strong man also with that the change in
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houses have change the emotion and feel of his father seems like he has no time for his
family and little patience for them too.
I felt that when Bruno left Berlin, everyman who came into his life showed him no
warmth or love except for Pavel and that was one of the people “father said weren’t
people and they weren’t to be trusted”.
The new house compared to the old house shows the sudden change of emotion desolate,
all on its own and there is more in depth description on chapter two. Another point is the
surroundings of the new house, no one strolling along or rushing around everything felt
cold “as if he was in the loneliest place in the world” (p13).
Also in the chapter name ”Out of bounds at all time and no exceptions” pretty much tells
you that Bruno’s father thinks of work first, also the way Boyne writes about the way the
father treats Bruno not being sensitive to his needs and feelings. That is one example on
the way the chapters explain the negativity of the chapter and it works with most of the
headings in the book that is what I have noticed from John Boyle also trying to get across
with a couple of words gives you a brief summary of what lies ahead for Bruno and the
family, it makes the reader excited. I think that is one way of narrative structure, tone and
choice of language.
“Father laughed, which upset Bruno even more; there was nothing that made him more
angry than when a grown-up laughed at him for not knowing something, especially when
he was trying to find out the answer by asking questions.” (P 50)
The author really does get in Bruno’s head and explains his feelings like it has happen to
himself or has been in that situation himself,
You can really feel the frustration of Bruno trying, wanting to know what the truth is
about out-with and it probably is the same for the people in the striped pyjamas,
frustrated at the fact as they believe in a religion they will get punish for it, also for a
young boy to feel nervous around his father isn’t a very good feeling. John Boyle makes
the reader feel extremely sorry for Bruno trying to reach out for love and care, wanting
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answer for the move but instead he gets a stony face expression from his father and
replies like “you will be quiet now” and “you phrase things in an insolent manner.”(p51)
When the father is the wrong but has been regimentally driven to this answer of hate and
The boy in the striped pyjamas is principally concerned with telling its tale, leaving the
subtleties of how outsize evil can co-exist with domestic tranquillity for another day.
Bruno, too, is more innocent than seems likely, oblivious to the truth of what he