John Boone represents the different perspectives of society in World War II through the representations of characters in the fictional novel The Boy in Striped Pajamas. Brunt’s childlike perspective is represented through his malapropism of ‘the Fury’ and “Out-With” and his reaction to unexpected events, “mouth making the shape of an O”. The irony of Brunt’s narrow view, “it’s so unfair… ” Confronts the audience with the ignorance of some German citizens to the horrific events of the Holocaust.
The characters of “Mother ND “Grandmother” are utilized by Boone to represent the differing perspectives of the society during the Holocaust. Grandmother exercises constructive disobedience in dissenting with the Nazi regime and perceiving Fathers role as “a puppet on a string”. This is juxtaposed to Brunt’s Mother through the euphemism of “[Bruno] had never known anyone to need quite so many medicinal Sherries” showing her complacency to do nothing about the knowledge of the concentration camp. Boone positions an older audience to see the dangers of naivety and the cost of inaction.
Rose Balance composed by Robert Innocent juxtaposes the main protagonist to others in the picture book, representing the differing perspectives during the Holocaust. The purpose of the text is established by the motif of Rose positioned behind a window, symbolizing her separation from the evil of the Nazi regime. A single bright color is utilized throughout the text, which Innocent uses to juxtapose the dominant influence of Rose Balance and the Nazi regime. Innocent’s use of the ironic statement, wars being, people often cheer” confronts a modern audience who recognizes the historical horrors of war.
The foreshadowing of seasons “winter was coming” at the being of the book develops into a symbol of hope after the protagonist is killed and “spring takes over’. The French translation of Balance connotes the innocence and purity of the protagonist; however the audience soon recognizes Rose’s loss of innocence as her bow is lost. The responders are forced to distinguish the evil of the Nazi party from the protagonist whom Innocent represents as a symbol of the innocence and humanity.
The Boy in Striped Pajamas and Rose Balance are both tragic representations of innocence through the confronting atrocities of the Holocaust. However, The Boy in Striped Pajamas allows the reader to explore different notions while Rose Balance is a stark representation of the horrors of war. Boone blurs the boundaries between innocence and ignorance through the perspective of Bruno as he “pretends he hasn’t heard” the true about his friend Samuel and the concentration camp.
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