The Boy in the Striped Pajamas

Pdf fan Tap here to download this LitChart! (PDF)

The Fury Symbol Analysis

The Fury Symbol Icon

“The Fury” is Bruno’s mispronunciation of “the Führer,” a word that means “leader” in German, but has now become forever linked to the rule of Adolf Hitler. Hitler was the leader of the Nazi Party, the dictator of Germany during World II, and the orchestrator of the Holocaust, in which millions of Jews, Romani people, homosexuals, and other minorities were killed. Bruno repeats the title “the Fury” whenever he means Hitler, since he only hears Hitler referred to reverently as “the Führer” in his Nazi-supporting household. Since Bruno’s family must move to Auschwitz soon after the Fury comes to dinner, Bruno comes to associate him with uprooting their way of life. Shmuel, too, associates “the Fury” with uprooting his family’s way of life—but in his case, he and other Jews and minorities were forcibly removed from their homes and placed into death camps. Thus the Fury—a tide of fear and anger, embodied by the genocidal rule of Hitler—comes to symbolize an unshakeable and incomprehensible force that changes things for the worse.

The Fury Quotes in The Boy in the Striped Pajamas

The The Boy in the Striped Pajamas quotes below all refer to the symbol of The Fury. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Innocence and Ignorance  Theme Icon
). Note: all page and citation info for the quotes below refers to the David Fickling Books edition of The Boy in the Striped Pajamas published in 2007.
Chapter 11 Quotes

What a horrible man, thought Bruno.

Related Characters: Bruno (speaker)
Related Symbols: The Fury
Page Number: 124
Explanation and Analysis:

Bruno thinks back to the night that The Fury (his mispronunciation of Führer, the title that Hitler assumed when he rose to power) visited the family's home in Berlin for dinner. Bruno is very taken with Hitler's his companion, Eva Braun, but he finds Hitler to be very rude. The reason for Hitler's visit is to offer Father the job at Auschwitz, so Bruno associates this night with being taken away from his beloved home in Berlin. 

Bruno's parents parade Bruno and Gretel out to greet Eva and Hitler when they arrive. It is very important to show Hitler that the family is obedient, traditional, and in line with Nazi values. Bruno is used to being addressed and treated with relative respect by the other older men in his life (Father and Grandfather) and is very off-put by Hitler's dismissiveness. Eva is kind to the children, and Bruno is then personally offended when Hitler is rude to her as well. The fact that Bruno does not know exactly who Hitler is, or what his relationship is to the government of Germany, shows how (almost impossibly) sheltered and innocent his world in Berlin is. 

A+

Unlock explanations and citation info for this and every other The Boy in the Striped Pajamas quote.

Plus so much more...

Get LitCharts A+
Already a LitCharts A+ member? Sign in!
Chapter 13 Quotes

“There aren’t any good soldiers,” said Shmuel.
“Of course there are,” said Bruno.
“Who?”
“Well, Father, for one,” said Bruno. “That’s why he has such an impressive uniform and why everyone calls him Commandant and does whatever he says. The Fury has big things in mind for him because he’s such a good soldier.”
“There aren’t any good soldiers,” repeated Shmuel.
“Except Father,” repeated Bruno, who was hoping that Shmuel wouldn’t say that again because he didn’t want to have to argue with him. After all, he was the only friend he had here at Out-With. But Father was Father, and Bruno didn’t think it was right for someone to say something bad about him.

Related Characters: Bruno (speaker), Shmuel (speaker), Father
Related Symbols: The Fury
Page Number: 140
Explanation and Analysis:

One day at the Fence, Bruno and Shmuel discuss what they want to be when they grow up. Shmuel notes that he wants to work in a zoo, while Bruno says he wants to become a soldier like Father. In this quote, Shmuel counters Bruno to claim that there are no good soldiers, and Bruno refutes his statement out of respect for his father.

As a prisoner in a concentration camp, Shmuel has no reason to believe that there are any good soldiers in the world. The only soldiers he has encountered are ones that taunt and torture him and the other prisoners in the camp. Even Bruno understands that someone like Lieutenant Kotler has a sadistic side, and thinks that he would not want to be that kind of soldier, but he defends Father by default, as he does not understand that Father's true role in Shmuel's suffering. This again shows Bruno parroting the ideology he has been taught, as even in his relative innocence he still places country and family over his new friendship with Shmuel.

Get the entire Striped Pajamas LitChart as a printable PDF.
The boy in the striped pajamas.pdf.medium

The Fury Symbol Timeline in The Boy in the Striped Pajamas

The timeline below shows where the symbol The Fury appears in The Boy in the Striped Pajamas. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 5
Innocence and Ignorance  Theme Icon
Boundaries  Theme Icon
Family and Friendship  Theme Icon
Nationalism  Theme Icon
Gender Roles Theme Icon
Complicity Theme Icon
...room and shook her head, saying to herself that they should have never let “ the Fury ” come over for dinner. She had not noticed Maria and Bruno standing nearby as... (full context)
Innocence and Ignorance  Theme Icon
Family and Friendship  Theme Icon
Nationalism  Theme Icon
Gender Roles Theme Icon
...well dressed, though they are wearing soldiers’ uniforms. They are all complaining to him about the Fury , and past discipline and efficiency. Father silences them with one hand, and assures them... (full context)
Innocence and Ignorance  Theme Icon
Boundaries  Theme Icon
Family and Friendship  Theme Icon
Nationalism  Theme Icon
Gender Roles Theme Icon
Complicity Theme Icon
...sometimes, one has to do things in life that they have no choice in. As the Fury believes Father’s position is important, he must be in Out-With out of duty to his... (full context)
Innocence and Ignorance  Theme Icon
Boundaries  Theme Icon
Family and Friendship  Theme Icon
Nationalism  Theme Icon
Gender Roles Theme Icon
Complicity Theme Icon
Unsure how to respond, Bruno asks Father if he did something to make the Fury angry, due to the fact that he assigned Father to a job at Out-With, which... (full context)
Chapter 8
Innocence and Ignorance  Theme Icon
Boundaries  Theme Icon
Nationalism  Theme Icon
Gender Roles Theme Icon
Complicity Theme Icon
...now to be addressed by Maria, their Cook, and Lars the butler as “Commandant,” after the Fury and a “beautiful blonde woman” had come for dinner. Mother told Bruno to congratulate Father,... (full context)
Chapter 11
Innocence and Ignorance  Theme Icon
Boundaries  Theme Icon
Nationalism  Theme Icon
Gender Roles Theme Icon
Complicity Theme Icon
...that she has tickets to the theatre, but Father interrupts her to say that “ the Fury ” has invited himself over for dinner to discuss something with Father. Father tells Bruno... (full context)
Innocence and Ignorance  Theme Icon
Boundaries  Theme Icon
Family and Friendship  Theme Icon
Nationalism  Theme Icon
Gender Roles Theme Icon
Complicity Theme Icon
An hour before the Fury is scheduled to arrive, Gretel and Bruno are summoned to Father’s office, one of the... (full context)
Innocence and Ignorance  Theme Icon
Boundaries  Theme Icon
Family and Friendship  Theme Icon
Nationalism  Theme Icon
Gender Roles Theme Icon
Complicity Theme Icon
...in the doorway, and Father salutes them while Maria takes their coats. Bruno observes that the Fury is “far shorter” than Father, and has short dark hair and a tiny moustache. He... (full context)
Innocence and Ignorance  Theme Icon
Boundaries  Theme Icon
Family and Friendship  Theme Icon
Nationalism  Theme Icon
Gender Roles Theme Icon
Complicity Theme Icon
The Fury and Eva stay at the dinner table for the better part of two hours, and... (full context)
Chapter 12
Innocence and Ignorance  Theme Icon
Boundaries  Theme Icon
Family and Friendship  Theme Icon
Nationalism  Theme Icon
Gender Roles Theme Icon
Complicity Theme Icon
...in their house anymore. Bruno exclaims that the same thing happened to him too, after the Fury came to dinner. He asks Shmuel if the Fury had gone to his house and... (full context)
Chapter 13
Innocence and Ignorance  Theme Icon
Boundaries  Theme Icon
Family and Friendship  Theme Icon
Nationalism  Theme Icon
Complicity Theme Icon
...there aren’t any good soldiers, but Bruno says that Father is a good soldier, whom the Fury has “big things in mind” for. The boys are quiet for a moment, and Shmuel... (full context)
Chapter 16
Innocence and Ignorance  Theme Icon
Boundaries  Theme Icon
Family and Friendship  Theme Icon
Nationalism  Theme Icon
Gender Roles Theme Icon
Complicity Theme Icon
...sad, since he and his mother had not reconciled from their fight before she died. The Fury delivers a wreath in condolence, but Mother says Grandmother would have rolled over in her... (full context)
Chapter 17
Innocence and Ignorance  Theme Icon
Boundaries  Theme Icon
Family and Friendship  Theme Icon
Nationalism  Theme Icon
Gender Roles Theme Icon
Complicity Theme Icon
...may return to Berlin, though he must stay at Out-With due to the commands of the Fury . Father says he does agree that Out-With is not the best place to raise... (full context)