80 pages 2 hours read

John Boyne

The Boy in the Striped Pajamas

Fiction | Novel | YA | Published in 2006

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Chapters 11-15Chapter Summaries & Analyses

Chapter 11 Summary: “The Fury”

In a flashback to several months earlier, Bruno’s father receives news that the Fury plans to come for dinner to discuss Father’s next assignment. Father instructs Bruno and Gretel to be on their best behavior and to speak only when spoken to.

Bruno considers the Fury to be “the rudest guest [he] had ever witnessed” (189) and “a horrible man” (191), but he finds his blond and tall companion, Eva, beautiful. While the Fury barely deigns to speak to them, Eva shows kindness. Later that night, Bruno overhears his parents argue about moving away from Berlin to follow Hitler’s orders, which his father feels is the only way. 

Chapter 12 Summary: “Shmuel Thinks of an Answer to Bruno’s Question”

Shmuel tells his story. He once lived with his parents and brother Josef in Cracow above the store where his father repaired and made watches. Then one day his mother told him they would have to start wearing armbands with a six-pointed star sign on it. Soon after, they had to leave their home and live in one room with another family. Then soldiers put them into trucks and made them board a train where “there was no air to breathe. And it smelled awful” (200).