The Boy in the Striped Pajamas

Was Bruno’s mother happy to leave Berlin? Explain.

Was Bruno’s mother happy to leave Berlin? Explain.

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In Chapter One, Boyne concerns himself with the plight of female characters, though the details of their specific situations are revealed through the lens of Bruno's narration. In the first chapter, the reader recognizes that Father has power over Mother not only because his job is dictating where they move without her having a say in the matter, but because he actually silences her voice in the argument Bruno witnesses between them: "he heard her speaking loudly to [Father] until Father spoke louder than Mother could and that put a stop to their conversation" (10). This literal silencing of Mother is representative of the figurative silencing of women's voices at this point in history, as well as in many times of war.

Mother reacts passive-aggressively, the only way she can, for example by referring to Father as "some people." Bruno knows that "'some people' was a grown-up's word for 'Father' and one that he wasn't supposed to use himself" (9). When Bruno complains that he doesn't thinking moving was a good idea after all, Mother tells him that they "don't have the luxury of thinking" because "[some] people make all the decisions for us" (13-14).