The Boy In The Striped Pyjamas Shmuel Essay Definition

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Friendship is not something that has adapted overtime. The desire to seek out and surround us with other human beings, our friends, is in our nature. Philosophers such as Aristotle infer that friendship is a kind of virtue, or implies virtue, and is necessary for living. Nobody would ever choose to live without friends even if we had all the other good things. The relationship between two very different young boys, Bruno and Shmuel’s in the film The Boy in the Striped Pajamas is an example of the everlasting bond of a perfect friendship based upon the goodness of each other. This film portrays one of humanity’s greatest modern tragedies, through heartache and transgression, reflecting various themes through out the movie. Beyond the minor…show more content…

With little left after Bruno and his family are forced to leave their comfortable life in Brelin and move to the countryside due to the promotion of his soldier-father, the adventurous boy becomes anxious and curious to explore his new surroundings (Herman, 2009). Even after being scolded on multiple occasions for wandering too far, Bruno finds himself meeting another eight-year-old boy. But this was not just any other friend, this boy was trapped in by an electric barbed wired fence, his head shaved completely and was dressed in what looked to be striped pajamas, according to Bruno. Shmuel was a Jewish boy, trapped in a camp specifically ran by Bruno’s father. After multiple trips and days of playing and talking, the two children become friends, and not long after did Bruno begin to understand the severity of Shmuel’s circumstances. Bruno begins to question the righteousness of his Commandant-father, resulting in consequences due to the “forbidden” friendship, not just for the two boys but also for their families.
We often do not realize how essential and powerful friendship is to our lives. Aristotle claims that no individual would chose to live without friends even if the individual had all the other good things in life. He found that friendship is a virtue that is needed and desired by humans in order to reach a peaceful state of mind (Aristotle, 1999). For

I think that the friendship between both boys can be described as real.  Their friendship is one that cuts through social distinctions, religious distinctions, and historical conditions.  Both boys fill a need for companionship in the other. It is for this reason that their friendship is real and valid.  In displaying a friendship that transcends existing conditions, one is reminded of what can be.  This is where the ultimately real quality of the boys' friendship exists.

In one respect, their friendship is real because both boys mirror one another.  This is seen in the most literal of senses when Bruno has to have his head shaven because of lice.  This can also be seen  when he accompanies Shmuel on their "adventure" as Bruno crosses the fence.   Symbolically, their friendship is real as they both confess to the other that neither of them "like" Auschwitz.  Bruno and Shmuel recognize at that moment that their friendship is the only thing sustaining them through the horror of Auschwitz.  When they are herded into the gas chamber together, the midst of terror is where their friendship achieves their greatest significance.  When Bruno tells Shmuel that he is his "best friend for life," when fear and terror grip both of them, it is a reminder as to how real their friendship actually is.  In the end, this becomes the word to describe their friendship.  Both boys actually die in one another's arms, with only the comfort of the other to offset the terror of death in the gas chamber.  Their friendship carries both boys beyond the fear of a lonely death in the Holocaust.  This indicates how real their friendship was.

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