Both Bruno and Shmuel are different in many ways, yet they share many similarities. Bruno is from a family that is well off and comes from Berlin. Once his Father had become a powerful commander for Hitler, he has moved to Auschwitz for his Father’s job. Being a rather adventurous and reckless boy, living in his large house in Berlin and having nothing else to do, it has led him to go exploring around the house, which gives him a dream to become an explorer. He loves searching for new things and he has lots of freedom to go wherever he wants.
On the other hand, Shmuel has had no opportunity for achieving his dreams as his family is Jewish and comes from Poland. They live in poor conditions in concentration camps, barely having enough food and having to do extremely tiring work. His family is powerless against Hitler and his army. He is in captivity and only experiences true freedom when he is with Bruno. Even though both have many differences, these two young boys are extremely similar in several ways. They share the same age and birthday. The two trains at the start of the book is symbolic of both the boys journey’s.
Bruno had better conditions on the train while Shmuel was on a crowded train with horrible conditions, but yet both trains were going in the same direction. This is also symbolic of their death because although they were different in many ways they both died in the same way, by gas. This was the main similarity make clear by their differences in culture and race.
Another similarity is where they are. Although Bruno has a house he still feels unsafe and not at home, this is the case with Shmuel as well as he may not have a home but he still feels unsafe. But the main similarity is that they find peace and happiness with each other, something they cannot find anywhere else. Both didn’t understand what was going on with the war and the whole concept of Germany and the Jews, for example, the clues such as the unfair and harsh treatment to Pavel from Lieutenant Kotler and the way Gretel talked about the Jews are a few clues that Bruno did not realise. The naivety they shared ended up killing them both, as they were looking for Shmuel’s Dad and they both walked in to the gas chamber together. The end of the book shows that people are equal, no matter who they are or where they come from as they both die in the same place in the same way, together.
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