82 pages 2 hours read

John Boyne

The Boy at The Top of the Mountain

Fiction | Novel | Middle Grade | Published in 2015

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Chapters 5-7Chapter Summaries & Analyses

Chapter 5 Summary: “The House at the Top of the Mountain”

Pierrot arrives at Berghof, a mansion where Beatrix works as a housekeeper. He knows nothing about the location at first, but in Chapter 7, he meets the mansion’s owner, Adolf Hitler, also known as the Führer. The morning of his arrival, a servant named Herta Theissen orders him to take a bath, only begrudgingly allowing him to do it by himself; Pierrot feels she’s treating him like a small child. Even the clothing she gives him to wear is too big, making him feel small. His own clothes have been burned; Herta insists that they “were filthy and most likely crawling with undesirables” (77). She tells him that Beatrix has left for town. From his interaction with Herta, Pierrot immediately gets the sense that life at Berghof is strict, and the master is to be feared, although he is rarely present.

After washing up and putting on the hand-me-down clothing, the servants leave Pierrot to his own devices. He wanders around Berghof. It is a large building at the top of a mountain, isolated and surrounded by wilderness, but not too far from the village of Berchtesgaden. Despite its size, there are few people at the site.