Friday, November 9, 2007

BSP - Initial Thoughts

I just finished reading BSP. I started it last night, read very late, then finished this afternoon. I'm not quite ready to answer the questions yet, but need to share a few thoughts. I had a very difficult time with the use of "Fury" and "Out-With." I understand why the author might have wanted to use these terms, but I was bothered by them. Bruno seemed much less believable to me because of his constant use of these words. I can see a 5 or 6 year old child making these kind of pronunciation mistakes, but not a 9-year old boy, and certainly not a 10-year old boy who had been hearing the words for more than a year. Why was Bruno still making these mistakes more than one year later?

There is one other point I need to make. I was bothered by the words "a fable" underneath the title on the inside title page. I just can't see the fable, the allegory, the metaphor, or whatever you want to call it, because the Holocaust was real. Eve Bunting's book, Terrible Things: An Allegory of the Holocaust, works for me, because she uses animals to convey the message that everyone has a responsibility to speak out against injustice, or there will be no one left to speak. In BSP, there was little that felt like metaphor. The people were real, that place was real, the evil was real. Perhaps Bruno's naiveté could serve as a metaphor for the blindness of the German people, but a fable should have a moral, and I didn't see the moral here.

Okay, I need some more time to digest and reflect on what I've read. I'll be back. I'm looking forward to the discussion.


alisonwonderland said...

i tried to discuss a little of my view of this book as a "fable" in my post on the first set of discussion questions.

i also want to say that the mispronunciation of "Out-With" and "Fury" are central to that idea of fable-telling. in actually, Bruno would be speaking in German, so the "mis-pronunciations" of Auschwitz and Führer would not have the same meaning to him or those to whom he speaks as they do to us, the English-speaking readers. i think calling a death camp "Out-With" and an evil, hate-filled leader "Fury" are perfect metaphors!

Simrit said...

Although I understand the idea of not calling BSP a Fable, I do agree with alisonwonderland(sorry dont know your real name..) about the meaning of the words Outwith and Fury as perfect metaphors.