1 dramatic irony / flashback example
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Dramatic irony in utilized in Chapter Eight during Bruno's conversation with Pavel in the kitchen. Bruno cannot understand what the reader knows: Pavel is a prisoner at Auschwitz, who has been torn away from his life as a practicing doctor and is being forced to wait on Bruno's family in the house. This dramatic irony is emphasized by the sentence fragment that makes up an entire paragraph following Pavel's description of all the things he used to do: "But not any more" (83). This suggests that Bruno understands Pavel's words carry some weight, but unlike the reader, he cannot make sense of the situation.
Bruno's flashback revolves around his grandmother and reveals her view of his father's uniform and the job he performs. Bruno's flashback reveals that Grandmother was the only one who disapproved of Father's new uniform, had said to her son, "I wonder if all the performances I made you give as a boy led you to this. Dressing up like a puppet on a string" (90). Grandfather had encouraged her to be quiet, but she had not obeyed. Mother had tried to calm her down by asking her to confirm that Father looks handsome in his new uniform, but Grandmother was incredulous at the suggestion that how he looks would be important. Mother had told Gretel and Bruno to go upstairs, but they eavesdropped from the top of the stairs. When Father called himself a patriot, Grandmother had yelled, "A patriot indeed! The people you have to dinner in this house. Why, it makes me sick. And to see you in that uniform makes me want to tear the eyes from my head!" (93). She had stormed out of their house, and Bruno hadn't seen her since. He decides to write her a letter from Out-With, telling her how unhappy he is in their new home and how much he misses her.