I have three key words to describe this movie, the Boy in the Stripped
pajamas: friendship, nature of human beings, and conscience.
>>>>>An analysis on Ralf the father
To start the reflection, I want to analyze one character, Ralf.
At the beginning of the movie, I liked the character because he
wears uniform, which I like very much. However, the time I really come
to like the character is perhaps when he helped Bruno to win his sister
in the chess with a smile. The smile, I thought, was bright and light
like the fragment of the sun.
So then this character, one that may be hated by many viewers, came
to be my favorite and now I am not going to do what is called ‘bleach
(translated from Chinese)’, but to analyze the character, though may be
with respect to my favor of him.
It is known to us all that to be a soldier, one must be obedient.
From this point of view, Ralf is a brilliant soldier as he thoroughly
carried out his task, which is to massacre the Jews and not let his
family, even his beloved wife know. Some may say that this is not only
obedient, but lack of humanity due to the bloodiness of the task. Though
this opinion may hold a standpoint, however, it is not totally he
himself’s fault, but the environment, the education, the great
background and the stage he lives in’s fault. It is easy to control
one’s mind through education, as can be seen from the movie, from the
character Bruno’s sister. Thus the education Ralf had together with the
obligation he has as a soldier made him an indifferent killer. He has no
other choice, for the era he lives in was full of insurgency and the
country he lives in was filled with Fascism and an individual cannot
have the power to make great changes in most times.
The friendship between the two naive children brought me at least a
sense of hopefulness of human beings that the judges of different
nations were only existing among adults rather than the innocent kids.
Instead of his cruel and dour father, there was nothing complicated in
Bruno’s eyes. Bruno, a little German boy, unexpectedly met a Jewish boy
during his exploration around his house. The Jewish boy was in a huge
farm, separating by the iron fence. He thought Shmuel, his jewish
friend, was one of the participants of an unknowing game in the farm, in
which was actually a Nazi concentration camp for the Jewish. In
contrast, Shmuel was much more sophisticated. At least, he understood
what the stripped pajama represent: the prejudice of Jewish.
Their approximate same age made them get closer, and nearly everyday
after class, Bruno would bring either balls or chess to play with
Shmuel; however, what confused him a lot was that once the bell rang,
Shmuel would frequently stand up and run back to the house with pulling
his handcart. Shmuel seemed to be anxious about his relationship with
Bruno, because he knew that the Jewish could not make friends with
German. The distinction of their social classes made Shmuel some time
>>>>>What I felt when I watched the movie
The ending was totally unexpected, as at first I thought it would no
doubtable be a satisfying and happy story. I watched the movie on my
class at school and in that situation sometimes I could not focus my
mind fully on the movie, so I searched for the summary of the story
online before the movie came to an end. Then I was astonished. I was
shocked by the extraordinary sadness of the ending. Though the color of
the movie had always been dark and grey, but I thought it was because of
the theme. After I had known the ending, I knew that the color was the
base of the mournfulness of the ending. Therefore I watched with
unwillingness and uncontrollable melancholy till the end really came.
Perhaps if I had not searched for the summary, I would have been
even more depressed after finishing watching.
Though he worried about the friendship between them, Shmuel treasured
the relationship between Bruno and him, as if this was the greatest
thing happened in his life; yet Bruno “betrayed” him once. While facing
lieutenant Kurt Kolter’s tough questioning, Bruno lied that it was
Shmuel who stole food and they didn’t know each other before; however,
the truth was that he gave Shmuel the sandwich to eat. Drastically,
Shmuel was beaten by Kurt Kolter after Bruno left the kitchen.
Surprisingly, after hurt by the lieutenant, Shmuel forgave Bruno and
they soon became friend again.
However, this brought me deep in thought. Why did Bruno tell lie to
Kolter? Why didn’t he act with responsibility? I assume it was because
we human beings have the nature to yield to the authority or the power
that we afraid. Lieutenant Kurt Kolter was such a insane that he
threatened Bruno like a fierce who was hunting its prey. Terrified as he
was, Bruno framed Shmuel up without thinking twice.
I tried to understand why he did that, and I found out that we could not
blame Bruno about what he had done. Bruno reacted like a ordinary,
disassociating himself with Shmuel, and yet I really appreciate that he
admitted his fault to Shmuel and they became friend again.
>>>>>Something I wanna say on the story line
One element that made the tragedy so sad is perhaps the fact that
Bruno would have been able to leave the ugly place before he died. He
was about to leave for a beautiful and peaceful place, and then he died,
with his wish to find Shmuel’s father, with the wish to be friend with
Shmuel, and with the wish to go to the beautiful place.
Considering about the story as a whole, perhaps this ending is most
reasonable. The impulse and the longing to explore has always been in
Bruno’s spirit, so it is reasonable for him to find the ‘farm’, to be
friend with Shmuel, to change his clothes in order to get into the
‘farm’, and finally, to die in the ‘farm’. Exploring is perhaps the clue
through out the story, and the indication of the tragic and dramatic
The character who surprised me was Bruno’s mother, for which her
remaining conscience. While Bruno was hurt, it was Pavel, the Jewish
servant, who helped to bandage him. Bruno’s mother even said “thank you”
to him. I believed what she had done was called love. As a mother, she
was able to be thankful to those who helped her son, no matter who those
are, Jews or Germans. In the final analysis, it was love called upon her
conscience of human, sympathy defeat her fear of authority. She finally
fight with her husband about the cruel way to burn Jewish. From her, I
saw the good and sparkled part of human.
In conclusion, I really love this movie which moved me and revealed me.
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