The Boy in the Striped Pajamas

Why is Maria so upset when Bruno keeps complaining that his father made a terrible mistake in coming to Out-With?


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While Bruno lies on his bed staring at the cracks in the ceiling, Maria enters his room and begins to put away his folded laundry. He engages her in conversation, hoping she will agree with him that Out-With is a horrible place, but she avoids saying anything negative. Bruno thoughtlessly says, "Stupid Father," which causes Maria to recoil in horror (59). She tells him that his father is a good man: her own mother worked as a dressmaker for Bruno's Grandmother. Bruno's Father paid for Maria's mother's hospital care and funeral when she became ill and eventually died, and then offered Maria and home, food, and a job in his household. She hints that she cannot understand how such a good man could be doing Father's job at Out-With, without actually saying those words.