Why do you think Bruno's mother says,' if the Commandant asks, we'll say that I cleaned Bruno up,' What does that tell us about Bruno's parents?
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Bruno is happy to hear Mother thank Pavel, "because surely it was obvious to everyone that if it hadn't been for him, he would have bled to death" (85). But of course, the opposite is true: Bruno, the child, is the person to whom this is obvious. Mother is grateful, but what she says next indicates that she knows Father would be furious if he heard that Pavel had touched Bruno, his son. So she demonstrates empathy and protects Pavel by saying she will cover for him if the Commandant asks who cleaned Bruno up. Bruno completely misinterprets this action, thinking it is selfish and "a way for Mother to take credit for something she hadn't done" (85).