'The Boy in the Striped Pajamas' Quotes

John Boyne's Best-selling Holocaust Novel

The Boy in the Striped Pajamas book cover
David Fickling Books

"The Boy in the Striped Pajamas" by John Boyne follows the lives (and friendship) of two young boys across the fence at the Auschwitz concentration camp during the Holocaust. One boy is the son of a high-ranking SS officer, while the other is the son of a Polish Jew. Here are quotes from the novel.

Quotes From 'The Boy in the Striped Pajamas'

"We don't have the luxury of thinking...Some people make all the decisions for us." (Bruno's mother, Chapter 2)
"One day he was perfectly content, playing at home, sliding down banisters, trying to stand on his tiptoes to see right across Berlin, and now he was stuck here in this cold, nasty house with three whispering maids and a waiter who was both unhappy and angry, where no one looked as if they could ever be cheerful again." (Chapter 2)
"So we're here at Out-With because someone said out with the people before us?" (Bruno, Chapter 3)
"We should never have let the Fury come to dinner." (Bruno's mother, Chapter 5)
"He suddenly became convinced that if he didn't do something sensible, something to put his mind to some use, then before he knew it he would be wondering round the streets having fights with himself and inviting domestic animals to social occasions too." (Chapter 7)
"The thing about exploring is that you have to know whether the thing you've found is worth finding. Some things are just sitting there, minding their own business, waiting to be discovered. Like America. And other things are probably better off left alone. Like a dead mouse at the back of the cupboard." (Bruno, Chapter 10)
"You wear the right outfit and you feel like the person you're pretending to be, she always told me." (Bruno, Chapter 19)
"Bruno opened his eyes in wonder at the things he saw. In his imagination he had thought that all the huts were full of happy families, some of whom sat outside on rocking chairs in the evening and told stories about how things were so much better when they were children and they'd had respect for their elders, not like the children nowadays. He thought that all the boys and girls who lived there would be in different groups, playing tennis or football, skipping and drawing out squares for hopscotch on the ground...As it turned out, all the things he thought might be there—weren't." (Chapter 19)
"Despite the chaos that followed, Bruno found that he was still holding Shmuel's hand in his own and nothing in the world would have persuaded him to let go." (Chapter 19)
"A few months after that some other soldiers came to Out-With and Father was ordered to go with them, and he went without complaint and he was happy to do so because he didn't really mind what they did to him anymore." (Chapter 20)
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Lombardi, Esther. "'The Boy in the Striped Pajamas' Quotes." ThoughtCo, Aug. 25, 2020, thoughtco.com/boy-in-the-striped-pajamas-quotes-738023. Lombardi, Esther. (2020, August 25). 'The Boy in the Striped Pajamas' Quotes. Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/boy-in-the-striped-pajamas-quotes-738023 Lombardi, Esther. "'The Boy in the Striped Pajamas' Quotes." ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/boy-in-the-striped-pajamas-quotes-738023 (accessed October 18, 2021).