Boy in the Striped Pyjamas essay

What does the text highlight about the concept of belonging? The film tells a story seen through the innocent eyes of a 8 year old boy, Bruno, who is unsure of his place in the world. The most evident concept of belonging is his hitch in his transition from childhood to adulthood. Throughout the film, he faces the conflict between accepting the harsh “Jew-killing” reality of the world or stay immersed in his fantastical world filled with adventure.
Bruno also feels alienated from society having been moved from Berlin to the countryside, resulting in his isolation. On another level, he must further decide his place and to whether support his Nazi father’s actions and stay true to his “Fatherland” or stay a companion with Schmal, the 8 year old Jew that Bruno befriends. 5. What connections about belonging can you make between this text and your prescribed text? In Dickinson’s poems, there is a sense of disconnection with society that the poet experiences due to her isolation and seclusion from the world.
Similarly, Bruno, in The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas, experiences the same sense of disconnection due to his unsurity over what is right or wrong. He feels out of place and confused throughout the film as a result of his youth as well as his lack of knowledge about the hostile situation in the world. Also, where Dickinson regards her relationship with nature as the most dominant one in her life as depicted in “What mystery pervades a well”, Bruno does the same in reference to his relationship with the Jew child, Schmal.

Like nature, Schmal is an enigmatic character which Bruno does not seem to fully connect throughout the film, largely due to physical barriers such as the electric fence and mental factors like the judgemental character of Lt. Kotler and his father. Lastly, Dickinson realises her importance and place in the world due to her seclusion. Likewise, for the boy Bruno, it is left for him only to decide where he belongs in the world despite his age. Throughout the film, although Bruno is fed Nazi propoganda, we realise that it is ultimately up to him to decide his alliances as what he sees in the world is not quite what people describe. . What techniques does the composer use to convey his/her idas about belonging? (techniques, example, explain) Through the use of camera angles, Herman illustrates a sense of alienation between Bruno and his surroundings. He achieves this with a low shot of the new home, overshadowing and looming over a timid and doubting Bruno. Furthermore, the first scene that we see in the new home is Bruno sitting on the stairs, behind full-length banister rails, suggesting a sense of entrapment within the house.
The use of costuming in the blue and white striped “pyjamas” by Herman illustrates Bruno’s innocence and his inability to comprehend what is right or wrong. He does not realise that the clothing is the uniform for captured Jews but as the film progresses, harsh reality soon overtakes his naive outlook of the world. The uniforms also represent how different the prisoners are to Bruno. Bruno’s conflict between childhood and adulthood is further insinuated through the quote: “My dad’s a soldier, but not the sort that takes people’s clothes away. The use of dramatic irony suggests again Bruno’s innocence and how he is still very much a child in what is a hostile, adult world. The character of Schmul represents the power and solidarity of human relationships. What was intially a temporary friendship becomes permanent when Bruno becomes filled with regret after he betrays Schmal. A shake of the hands through the electric fence suggests that a connection between Bruno and Schmal exists regardless of any barriers.

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