March 8, 2008

Bruno’s mother

Posted in Boy in Striped Pajamas tagged at 12:03 pm by Ms. Davis

Explain what Bruno’s mother means when she says, “We don’t have the luxury of thinking” (page 13). Why is Bruno’s mother unhappy at Out-With? Identify scenes from the novel that support your answer.

*from the Readers’ Guide



  1. Kathy Nace said,

    Poor Mom. She doesn’t have the luxury of thinking– as a woman during this time in history, she certainly was not encouraged to have a thought of her own. Bruno’s mom followed the times and let her husband do the thinking. Remember how Bruno’s grandmother was shunned for having expressed her thoughts?

  2. cakequeen2 said,

    I LOVE the grandmother! she speaks her mind despite what the men have to say about it. She got her 2 cents in when she admonished her son for his evil ways, and his prowess at being the commandant.

    • jodie said,

      wish more Germans were like that in the war

  3. Ms. Davis said,

    Woah – what’s up with Bruno’s mother and Lieutenant Kotler??

  4. cakequeen2 said,

    And with Gretel and the Lieutenant? He was playing them both, which is why he got sent away, and the mother needed more of her “medicinal sherries” to take up the slack. Hmmmm………

  5. Phobos said,

    I’m not sure about Kotler, the line from Bruno’s mother “I have a little free time now if-” and the reference to the fact that Kotler was always there last thing at night and first thing in the morning whenever father was not around implied that Bruno’s mother was having an affair with Kotler. Coupled with her downturn once he was removed.

    I got the impression that Gretel’s infatuation was not reciprocated, Kotler used her to get close to the house but the suggestion at the end that Gretel threw her dolls away suggests a loss of innocence, and the author also references Kotler’s departure very soon after this happens. Was it just Gretel becoming 13 and deciding that she was too grown up for dolls or had something happened with Kotler. (who at 19 should have known better but that’s another debate for another day….)

  6. broncobustr said,

    I was very moved by this film. While there have been many films dealing with concentration camps and Nazis, this film approached the subject from an interesting point of view. The acting was superb from the ensemble cast and the young man who played Bruno did an exceptional job….it is hard to believe that a 10 year old could turn in such a “spot on” performance.

    Special mention must be made of Rupert Friend’s portrayal of Lt. Kotler. He is a very handsome actor and certainly succeeded in conveying the image of a young virile Aryan who despised jews and clearly enjoyed dominating them whether they were adults or children. Both women and gay men will enjoy his appearance on screen in tight leather jodpurs and knee high riding boots with spurs….a very sexy and emotive performance. He certainly hit his mark in this role. I liked seeing this side of Rupert….it shows he is not just another pretty face but has some balls. Good show mate!

    I was surprised there were only 3 people in the audience for this film in Chicago.

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