Study Guide

The Boy in the Striped Pajamas Chapter 17

By John Boyne

Chapter 17

Mother Gets Her Own Way

  • Bruno's mother wants to return to Berlin, but his father is worried that people will question his commitment.
  • For a few weeks nothing changes: Bruno hangs out with Shmuel, Gretel studies her maps, and his mother takes a lot of naps and drinks lots of sherry.
  • But then their father asks the kids if they want to go back to Berlin; Gretel says yes and Bruno says he just wants them to be together.
  • Father knows best (again) and decides that they'll go back Berlin within the week.
  • Bruno is not excited, though, and dreads giving Shmuel the news.