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Submitted By Yan75
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AIU Online University

In this report we will be discussing an international movie that effectively communicates the cultural, values and norms of a society that is different from your own culture. The movie chosen is the Boy in the Striped Pajamas which is based on a fictional book by John Boyne.

Ethnocentrism is the tendency to believe that one's ethnic or cultural group is centrally important, and that all other groups are measured in relation to one's own. The ethnocentric individual will judge other groups relative to his or her own particular ethnic group or culture, especially with concern to language, behavior, customs, and religion. These ethnic distinctions and sub-divisions serve to define each ethnicity's unique cultural identity (, n.d.).
Set during World War II, a story seen through the innocent eyes of Bruno, the eight-year-old son of the commandant at a concentration camp, whose forbidden friendship with a Jewish boy on the other side of the camp fence has startling and unexpected consequences (IMDb, n.d.).
This movie really nails ethnocentrism on the head. By segregating the Jews in concentration camps with the fence that divides worlds of realism. On one side of the fence you have the privileged which are served the best wine, the best meals, a comfortable place to sleep, and life is good. On the other side of the fence, the worst in human brutality is obvious. They hardly have any food to eat; they have the worst sleeping conditions and they’re treated like nothing (Jews aren’t even humans to the Nazis).
Jews were segregated because they were blames for for the economic crisis that Germany was suffering through as well as their defeat in World War I, Hitler targeted the Jews as the country’s main enemy. According to him, the Jewish people were directly responsible for Germany’s many problems (Maya Productions, n.d.). The sad part was, these were innocent little kids that didn’t know the difference between each, they only knew they were both the same age, liked the same foods and they played together. They didn’t know race, color of religion
At the same time, the fence is also a symbol of how this can be overcome. Bruno and Shmuel meet at the end of the fence, where it can be burrowed under and overcome. The fence and its divisions are overcome with the friendship of both boys. While they die in the process, the symbol of division is overcome.
I would also suggest that another symbol in the novel would have to be the gas chamber. It is in the gas chamber where death is evident. Yet, the symbolism of the gas chamber is that everyone in it is equal. Death is universal. At the time, Bruno and Shmuel, one German boy and one Jewish boy, are seen as the same. There is no difference in the cruelty of the gas chamber. Yet, it is within this realm where Bruno clings to Shmuel's hand and tells him that they will be "best friends for life." A symbol of destruction ends up becoming a testament to how human beings should act. In this instant, the gas chamber is a symbol of transformation.
The Boy in the Striped Pajamas is about a 9 year old German boy name Bruno. Bruno is the fortunate son of a Nazi commander during World War II. Bruno comes home from school one afternoon to discover his belongings packed and set near the door. His family is preparing to relocate from Berlin to a place Bruno believes is called Out-With. In reality, his father will be in charge of the prison camp Auschwitz. Bruno is not at all happy about the move, especially at leaving behind his three best friends. He is quite lonely and doesn't understand why he can't play with the children that he can see from his window at Out-With, children all dressed in the same striped pajamas. Then he realizes they aren't all children, but also men of all ages, all wearing the same striped pajamas. Bruno tries to entertain himself around the house since his parents don't want him to do any exploring. He and his sister have lessons at the house instead of going to school. Eventually, Bruno decides to sneak out to explore the area. He meets a boy his age named Shmuel. Shmuel wears the striped pajamas and lives on the other side of the fence. Shmuel and Bruno begin to meet every day. Bruno is thrilled to have a friend his own age, yet never fully grasps why Shmuel can't play at his house or why Bruno can't play with the other children in striped pajamas. After a little more than a year and a bout with lice among the children, Bruno's mother decides she can take no more of the isolation and plans to leave. Bruno and Shmuel make plans for one last day to go exploring where Shmuel lives. Bruno's head is shaved because of the lice, so he will fit in when Shmuel brings him pajamas. Bruno meets Shmuel, changes into the pajamas and crawls under the fence to help Shmuel find his papa, who hasn't been seen for days. As the two boys are searching, the guards round them up with many other adults into the middle of the camp. Believing they were going on a march, Bruno and Shmuel stick close together inside the group and march into an airtight building with many other Jews. That was the last anyone ever heard of Bruno. His mother eventually returned to Berlin with his sister. Bruno's father was ordered to leave Out-With with other soldiers. He eventually figured out what had happened to Bruno

IMDb (n.d.). The Boy in the Striped Pajamas (2008) - IMDb. Retrieved from
Maya Productions (n.d.). Why Did Hitler Hate Jews? Retrieved from (n.d.). Ethnocentrism. Retrieved from…...

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