Are physical or mental barriers necessary in life? Are they there to protect us, or to hide secrets from us? John Boyne explains in his novel that barriers are made to temporarily hold us back from secrets in life. But in the end, our minds will demolish the barrier dividing us from the truth. Bruno, a young boy in the novel, learns this first hand. He is presented with a physical barrier, separating him from his home and hundreds of people. His father implants Bruno with a mental barrier, telling him that he cannot go on the other side of the fence.
In the end Bruno’s interest in the fence took over and destroyed both barriers leading him to a path full of answers. Barriers are made in life to keep the truth hidden, they are lies built on lies. Physical barriers hold us back until we break free. The only thing separating Bruno from all the people was the massive fence that stretched as far as his eyes could see. Father and mother made it clear to Bruno that he was not allowed to walk or get close to the fence and that exploration was banned at Out-with. “When I was a child, I used to enjoy exploring.
And that was in Berlin, where I knew everywhere and could find anything even with a blind-fold on. I’ve never really done any exploring here perhaps it’s time to start. ” Bruno parents did not provide any entertainment for Bruno so Bruno decided to find some himself. The mind is a powerful barrier. Since there was no physical barrier blocking father’s office (except for a door), father made it very clear to the kids that his office was off limited with no exceptions. If they were to enter his office, there would be serious consequences.
Seeing as father had this rule in the old house and brought it to the new house, Bruno knew father was not joking when he said to stay out of his office. The mind is a power and dangerous thing. Near the end of the novel, Bruno was able to break through the giant fence and go to the other side. This is a big part in the novel because Bruno breaks through the biggest physical barrier he encounters and he also breaks through his parents’ mental barriers. As Bruno did not listen to his parents, he pays the ultimate consequence being death. Fear is the basis of most emotional and mental barriers.
Hiding behind fear is an easy way of dealing with actual barriers. Father was the baseline for the emotional side of Bruno’s barrier because if Bruno found out what his father was up to, his respect for his father would be crushed. Physical barriers take more time and effort to conquer. Through friendship and curiosity, Bruno was able to finally realize that he must deal with the obstacle dividing him and possibly new friendships and a different way of life. No matter how big the barrier, your mind will allow you to destroy it and perhaps overcome fear if the mind knows it is hiding a lie.
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