Picture yourself locked behind electric fences, and whipped for the pleasure of others, The Boy in The Striped Pajamas written by John Boyne is about a young boy experiencing life near the holocaust, during the period of the Second World War. Bruno, the main protagonist, learns a lot about the reality of life, away from the comfort of his previous home in Berlin. The Jews in the concentration camps are treated very brutally, and inhumanely. The main theme in the book is the childlike innocence can cause people, mainly children, to be misunderstood.
In the book, Bruno’s family had to move away from his childhood home, to Auschwitz, due to his father’s promotion by Hitler himself. As a young nine-year-old boy, Bruno loved to explore. “…he wanted to whisper to them that everything was all right, that father was the commandment, and if this was the type of thing that he wanted the people to do then it must be all right.” (Boyne 217) One day while Bruno was getting a tire to make a swing, to brighten his mood in the melancholy house he lived in, he noticed a small window that could squeeze a small person through it. After exploring outside of the window, he came across a long electrocuted fence, with a boy sitting behind it. Starting from that day, as soon as he had time Bruno would come and visit this boy, called Shmuel. One day Bruno discovered that he was moving back to his house in Berlin because his mother could no longer stand the conditions in Auschwitz. But the day before Shmuel told Bruno that he could not find his father, and they had planned to go looking for him today. So Bruno decided to help his friend out, and climb under the electrocuted fence, and begin searching. Without knowing Bruno and Shmuel were walking into a gas chamber along with other Jews (victims of the Holocaust). The two of them died holding hands. In this story, Bruno did not know what was really happening behind the fence, all he knew was that there were people there and that his father was in charge. The childlike innocence of Bruno caused him to believe in the misconception that he was in a safe environment since his father was running the area. The two children also manage to communicate with each other in an ordinary fashion, because of their innocence. Unlike the adults, they can communicate as friends. There is no discrimination in between them. “I don’t see why I have to be stuck over here on this side of the fence where there’s no one to talk to and no one to play with and you get to have dozens of friends and are probably playing for hours every day.” (114) This quote also shows that Bruno is an innocent character. He fails to see that the Jews are actually in a concentration camp, where they have many restrictions. Bruno’s childlike innocence acts as a window, meaning he can see what is happening, but is unable to understand the situation.
Citation: His Name Is Omran: The Bloodied Boy in Syria.” CNN. Cable News Network, 18 Aug. 2016. Web. 23 Jan. 2017.
In the real world, innocent children around the war are heavily affected by wars. Based on UNICEF’s statistics, in the Afghanistan War, 733 child soldiers were killed, UNICEF’s Regional Director tells Child Victims or War Organization that many developing country’s governments are using children because they are smaller in size and less likely to be suspected as a soldier. These innocent kids have been taken advantage of by cruel world leaders, who care only for their greed. Would you believe it, if this was still happening? From a CNN article about the Syrian War, “Omran Daqneesh, a five-year-old boy, had his house bombed by air attacks. The boy sat in the ambulance, not knowing what happened, instead of crying like fellow neighbors living in the area.” Omran is just one lucky victim in the country. The war-torn country had impacted lives of thousands of children. Many of the children are just like Omran, confused by the situation, their innocence causes them to not know what happened to them. They fail to understand the truth behind, on how attacks from enemy forces had taken away their homes.
There are many Child innocence which effect the children. They have been mistaken for being ignorant and unintelligent by others. Bruno, as a young 9 year old boy did not understand the reason Shmuel wasn’t allowed in his house, and Omran Daqneesh, a survivor from an air attack in Syria is also dazzled by the destruction of his house and possibly the death of his family. There are many cases of Child Innocence, do you know any?