The Boy in the Striped Pajamas
The Boy in the Striped Pajamas as a Genuine Fable 10th Grade
For an author portraying a topic as precarious and momentous as the Holocaust, perhaps the only adequate approach is through a fable, such as The Boy in the Striped Pajamas. In this novel, John Boyne creates main characters and a narrator that match the criteria of a fable, among other fable-like subject matter choices. Through language and textual features, Boyne weaves a genuine fable that successfully portrays and universalizes a sensitive social topic.
By creating characters that are vague in description, match archetypes or stereotypes, and partake in extraordinary incidents, this novel satisfies the main principles of a fable. The protagonist, Bruno, fits into the archetype of ‘the innocent child’ while the antagonist, Lieutenant Kotler, matches the stereotype of a Nazi soldier but also seems like a folktale villain. ‘He [Lieutenant Kotler] wore the same type of uniform as Father… and looked very serious. ... Bruno could see that he had very blond hair’(pg.19). Most characters lack definitive portrayals: for example, Mother’s and Father’s real names are never given. Also, the realistic likelihood of two protagonists from opposite ends of a social hierarchy meeting every day for almost a year, across the fence of a...
Join Now to View Premium Content
GradeSaver provides access to 861 study guide PDFs and quizzes, 6526 literature essays, 1773 sample college application essays, 268 lesson plans, and ad-free surfing in this premium content, “Members Only” section of the site! Membership includes a 10% discount on all editing orders.
Already a member? Log in