Comparing The Boy In The Striped Pajamas And The Book Thief

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John Boyne's The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas and Markus Zusak's The Book Thief both use various stylistic devices and conventions to explore similar key ideas in their texts of the extremes of human nature, the power of friendship and the loss of childhood innocence. Both authors explore these ideas through the use of narrative voice, imagery, symbolism and irony and are successful at each creating their own unique portrayal of World War II Germany by highlighting those key ideas, each forming a unique captivating storyline.

The Boy in the Striped Pajamas is narrated through the third person in Bruno Hoess’s vantage point. Bruno is a young boy who moves with his family to Auschwitz due to his Nazi-Commandant Father’s job duties. While at Auschwitz, Bruno meets and befriends Shmuel, who lives on the other side of the fence, which leads to a stream of other happenings. Similarly, The Book Thief is also set in World War II Germany, through the narrator - Death - looks at the life of Liesel Meminger who tragically loses her brother and is taken into foster care by Hans and Rosa Hubermann. They also look after Max, a Jew, who hides in their basement and together experience many horrors of Nazi germany and World War II. Zusak and Boyne each portray the role of the father to convey the
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The two texts have numerous similarities, especially between the friendship between Rudy and Liesel, and Shmuel and Bruno, while also having many differences, especially the role of the father, which the two books portray two opposing extremes of human nature, and childhood innocence, yet the authors are each in their own way successful at conveying key ideas in their
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