The Boy in the Striped Pajamas

Chapter Six, The Overpaid Maid

based on this new information do a character analysis of father

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In Chapter Six, Bruno engages Maria 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.

Maria's conversation with Bruno in Chapter Six serves not only to develop her back story, but to deepen the character of Father. She tells Bruno that his father gave her a job, a home, and food to eat, paid for her mother's hospital care and funeral. She serves as a commentary on the mental and emotional disconnect for Nazi soldiers generally, who might do kind deeds and appear to be wonderful people in other parts of their lives but also exterminate Jews. She tells Bruno that his father "has a lot of kindness in his soul, truly he does, which makes me wonder... Wonder what he... how he can..." (62). With this statement, Maria emerges as the first character who seems to have a moral conflict with the genocide taking place on the other side of the fence. Even so, because of her class restrictions and dependence on Father for a living, she tells Bruno to stop complaining.