The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas

November 15, 2017
By Anonymous

 “Childhood is measured out by sounds, and smells, and sights, before the dark hour or reason crows.”

                                                             ----John Betjeman
I thought I was going to cry before I watched this movie, but I did not. I couldn’t tell how I felt in a single word, but it seems like something blocked my heart off and held my breath. Sadness filled my heart, stopped my words and my mind went blank.

As the music starts up, a little boy chases his friends and runs across the street. He sees many Jews are taken into a truck, but he doesn’t know this is where a miserable story begins. The little boy’s name is Bruno. His family moves with his Nazi officer father to a devious countryside, but he is depressed all day because there is no one that can play with him. He is ordered not to go out.However, while his mom is out, he slips out and becomes friends with a jewish boy which on the other side of the wire entanglement. Thence, he slips out of the “cage” repeatedly and promises that jewish boy to help him find his father.

Since the beginning, the tone of this movie is stifling which contrasts with Bruno’s innocence starkly. Bruno has raven hair and a pair of sapphire eyes. He has chocolates, airplanes, adventure books and a wing. The camp is only a farm in his eyes, people there wear pyjamas. He doesn’t understand the meaning of the wire entanglement and he even envious that they can “enjoy playing”, but he is sitting around all day. There is no slavery in his world, he never heard genocide. When the tutor advocates that all the Jews are evil and dirty, he still believes there are lots of Jews that are good men and he swears that he will find them.

Nevertheless, the other side of the story is inhuman violence and despairing tragedy.  The Nazi occupation of the Jews interspersed in the movie.The movie doesn’t show that much specific scenes that how Nazi soldiers treat the Jews, it is implicitly reflected in the conversations and some characterizations, such as the stench and the Jewish servant. I think that is what the movie brilliant in the structure.The ending presents the most tragic part and the keynote of the movie. The distance between survival and death is only a few steps. From the beginning when the Nazi officer father realized his baby son was lost in the camp to the end when he ordered to stop releasing toxic. He is destined to lose something when he decides to help Nazis destroy a innocent nation.

How does prejudice impact one’s mind? How does a war destroy one’s hope? Only children’s innocence survived in this incessant fire. See, will the retribution ache you? It always hurt your loves and you will live without disease in the hell forever.

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