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Best of Humanity

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“The best of humanity is possible even in the most trying of circumstances.”

For the novel study, I read The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas which is a holocaust based novel written by John Boyne. I believe that the statement above means many things, but I think that mostly it means that some people no matter what the situation still find time for others, and that it wouldn’t matter what race or religion they were. The first person I believe supports this statement is a character who isn’t really in the book a lot and that person is Pavel. He is a Jew from the camp, working for a Nazi and his family. He respects them even after all they’ve done to him and perhaps his family. He is overall a very good person and I think he is one of the few that even during the final solution; he treated everybody with the same respect. He helps people if they are in need even if he knows they would never help him in return. He never takes any credit for things, and is quite happy the way he is. An example of his kindness is when he saw Bruno fall off the tire swing. The first thing he did was run out to him and picked him up; he took him inside and bandaged him up. However he never took any credit for this. He let mother take it all, maybe it was because he knew father wouldn’t be happy. Im sure he would be even less happy if Pavel did nothing. He didn’t have to it was out of his own good will.

The second person I believe fits what the statement means is Bruno, while he doesn’t listen and disobeys everything his father said he really is quite clueless. He goes to the fence every day to see the people his father claims ‘aren’t people at all’ page 53 and he brings food and games for the young underfed boy we know as Shmuel. He is completely unaware that his father is trying to wipe out people just like Shmuel and even though he has been told not to he treats the Jews as equal. He is a kind boy and doesn’t understand that he and Shmuel both are a part of the final solution of the holocaust. While he is talking to Shmuel he feels as if he has a friend for the first time since moving to Auschwitz. Bruno is an innocent boy in a terrible situation and while I don’t find it particularly good to disobey your parents I do think it was the very best thing Bruno could have done. Against all odds Bruno had a friendship with Shmuel that no one could destroy.

This was of such vital importance I don’t think that anything, race, religion or beliefs could sever the friendship that Bruno and Shmuel had so effortlessly created on their own terms. My third and final character that I am going to use to support this statement was Shmuel. Who was a character we came to know very well throughout the duration of the book. He was one of the main characters, and he was a Jew. He was completely aware of the situation but he was still kind and friendly to Bruno. He knew he wasn’t meant to be nice to someone whose father was in the midst of killing him and his family. He’s incredibly quiet. But that’s probably because he’s scared and very sad. He’s probably very confused about why this is happening to him but he is still incredibly friendly.

The first time he met Bruno he was nice and polite but very cautious. He has a friend for the first time and throughout the book you can tell he’s getting happier and happier every day. if I was in that situation I would never talk to anyone who may be involved in the event that had caused me to be taken away from my home, my friends and my family. Shmuel is different Shmuel has accepted what is happening and knows how clueless Bruno is and how is not his fault. People in that situation shouldn’t have to be so brave but Shmuel was. In conclusion I believe that these three characters brought out the best in each other and really did prove that no matter how terrible the circumstances and no matter how bad the situation there are still people out there willing to help you, even if you would never do the same to them. There are still people to give them hope.

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