Conformity In John Boyne's The Boy In The Striped Pa

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As young children, we are taught to always obey our superiors, and this holds true for Bruno and his family in The Boy in the Striped Pajamas. When Bruno’s father, a highly-ranked Nazi commandant, informs the family that they are moving, he fails to tell them that they will be living next to a concentration camp. As the truth unfolds, the family members are forced to make difficult decisions and show where their loyalties lie. Ralf, the father, and Gretel, the sister, choose to remain obedient to their superiors. Elsa, the mother, chooses to go against the others, and it causes strife within the family. Bruno drifts between the two. In John Boyne’s The Boy in the Striped Pajamas, he portrays this idea of obedience and conformity through the…show more content…
In the opening scenes of the movie, city hall is pictured in full sunlight, with three bright red Nazi flags waving out front. The camera eventually lands on a Jewish ghetto. The ghetto is dimly lit, with minimal sunlight. Boyle does this to show that the Jewish people have already fallen obedient to the Germans. This helps to set the theme of obedience and conformity. Further on in the movie, when Ralf’s promotion is being celebrated, lighting is used to Ralf’s advantage. As he descends the staircase, he maintains a bright glow, while his obedient subjects wait in dark lighting on the ground floor. He has just recently been promoted, but has already taken on an air of superiority, and the people accept it. After Bruno digs under the fence and joins Shmuel in looking for his father, yet another lighting change occurs. In previous scenes, the lighting was bright as Bruno approached the camp. Now, the lighting is dark throughout the camp, telling us what is to come. As Bruno and Shmuel sit inside the gas chamber, the lights are shut off, leaving them in near darkness. When the Nazi soldier opens the hatch on top of the chamber, he is bathed in bright light. This contrast of light shows that the Nazi’s have become completely superior to the Jews, and they have now completely conformed to the Nazi’s idealistic version of Jewish
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