JONATHAN DINKHA 8M ENGLISH ESSAY
Friendship plays a vital role in overcoming difficult situations. Particularly when it comes to times of hardship, loss and war. Discrimination is one of the major causes to most of the world’s problems… It can lead to violence, war, death and to an individual, a feeling of unworthiness.
John Boyne’s touching novel “The Boy In The Striped Pyjamas” utilises many techniques that allow his two main protagonists to develop a strong friendship whilst under unrelenting discrimination. In the book (set in Nazi Germany, during the Holocaust), Bruno a young German boy and Shmuel a young Jewish boy meet against all odds and develop a powerful friendship. Boyne has shown the two themes of discrimination and friendship throughout the relationships between the two protagonists Bruno and Shmuel. Boyne has clearly emphasised that friendship can overcome harsh situations in life.
Friendship can be defined as having a close bond with two or more people & being able to overcome rough times together. This is evident throughout John Boyne’s heart wrenching novel ‘The Boy In The Striped Pyjamas’ through Bruno and Shmuel’s relationship. The author has used a simile to give the two main protagonist’s a way to begin their friendship when Shmuel tells Bruno ‘Yes. I think I like your name too, It sounds like someone who’s rubbing their arms to keep warm.’ This portrays how Bruno likes Shmuel’s name because it is different, and he has never heard it before. Boyne utilises italics when Bruno tells Shmuel ‘I don’t mean I don’t believe you. I mean I’m surprised, that’s all. Because my birthday is April the 15th too. And I was born in 1934. We were born on the same day. ‘ This was used to emphasise the way Bruno and Shmuel are bonding over the fact that they both coincidentally share the same birthday. The text given from the novel the boy in the striped pyjamas, gives the readers an example of the theme of friendship shown throughout the novel. Lastly, Boyne utilizes imagery through the following quote : “He looked down and did something quite out of character for him – he took hold of Shmuel’s tiny hand in his & squeezed it tightly. “You’re my best friend, Shmuel,” He said, “My best friend for life “. Friendship is shown within Bruno and Shmuel’s relationship. The idea given by the author is that friendship can be one of the only things sustaining you through tough times. It is through trust ; loyalty that people can develop this bond.
Discrimination can be defined as the punishment ; abuse of individuals due to something they can’t alter or control. This has caused war, violence and hatred because of the impact it has on people and their emotions and causes them to be afraid to express their identities. John Boyne conveys discrimination in the novel between the Jews and Germans, this can be shown clearly throughout Shmuel and Bruno’s relationship. Boyne uses context by writing: Bruno – “We’re not supposed to be friends you and me, ‘ ‘ We’re meant to be enemies did you know that?”. this shows how the world revolving around Bruno and Shmuel has learnt to generalise this type of discrimination towards the Jewish people during the time period in which the book is set – (Nazi Germany). Boyne uses imagery in the text : ” and then one day things started to change,’ he continued. ‘ I came home from school and my mother was making armbands for us out of a special type of cloth and drawing a star on each one. Like this. ‘ Using his finger, he drew a design in the dusty ground beneath him.”
This quote shows and exemplifies the separation, discrimination and dehumanisation of the Jews from the rest of the / their society and the rest of world.
In conclusion, John Boyne’s novel portrays the hardship of sustaining a strong friendship during rough times, through discrimination, war and terror. Friendship is nothing without discrimination for true friendship is built on the ability to support someone whilst they are going through difficult times in their life.
JONATHAN DINKHA 8M ENGLISH ESSAY