The Book Thief and the Boy and the Striped Pyjamas

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‘The Book Thief’ and the ‘Boy in the Striped Pyjamas’ The Book Thief focuses on a 12 year old girl, Liesel and her family who are living in Germany during World War Two. When her family takes in Max, a Jewish man that is hiding from the Nazi Soldiers, Liesel’s life is turned upside down as she struggles to keep her family’s secret and to find a place in her new world. The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas is also set during World War Two. It follows the story of Bruno, a young boy whose father is a Commander General of a Nazi Concentration Camp. With nothing to do, he explores and finds Shmuel, a Jewish boy that is being held in the camp. They become good friends but their friendship leads Bruno to a mistaken death. The authors of these two texts use similar themes to convey a story of relationships within the books. The relationships within these two stories both witness death. In The Book Thief, Liesel and Rudy both face death; Liesel more so than Rudy as she has to deal with the loss of not only her entire family but also the loss of her best friend. In The Boy in the Stripped Pyjamas the relationship between Bruno and Shmuel encounters death in a horrifying way as they both are killed, Shmuel on purpose and Bruno by accident. The theme of friendship within these texts is one of the most important. The friendship between Liesel and Rudy in The Book Thief is presented in a more simple way compared to the friendship that was formed between Bruno and Shmuel. In The Book Thief the innocence of Liesel and Rudy was lost because of the events in the book that they lived through. Both of their fathers’ were sent away to work for the Nazi Party, and especially Liesel as her life is thrown into uncertainty because she is forced to keep a secret from her best friend Rudy. The friendship between Shmuel and Bruno in The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas is one that allows

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