Peculiarities of One Narrative− on Holocaust, without Metaphors (based on The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas by John Boyne)


  • Nino Dzamukashvili Iakob Gogebashvili Telavi State University image/svg+xml



Boyne, signifier, signified, Holocaust, narrative


           The purpose of our article is to show through John Boyne's well-known novel The Boy in the Striped Pajamas,2006, the lexical-semantic and also the stylistic devices chosen by the writer when he tells us about one of the greatest catastrophes of mankind - the Holocaust. We tried to highlight the writer's style: his choice gives the impression that this horrible event is beyond being described by metaphors. The narrative is straightforward, concise, and mostly devoid of direct emotional charge since the Holocaust itself has become a powerful metaphor for this dreadful humanitarian catastrophe. The story told by the writer is a story experienced through the eyes and mind of a nine-year-old boy, Bruno. Our research aims at revealing those linguistic units − "signifiers", with their specific syntactic, phonetic, lexical-semantic and also stylistic characteristics, which the writer uses for narration. Their functional load is diverse: sometimes, with this or that wisely chosen signifier, the writer shows the possibilities of phonetically different "reading" of this or that word. e.g. "Fury" instead of "Führer"; Sometimes with childish naivety and misunderstanding of the wrongly perceived name: "Out-with" instead of "Auschwitz". We also had a very interesting case when the writer sometimes uses euphemistic expressions to cover what he did not mean to say directly. Similar linguistic units abound throughout the novel, turning the entire text into a homogeneous linguistic fabric. It is also interesting to note the fact that each chapter is titled in a way that suits the nature of the narrative: they also suggest childish logic and thinking. By taking into  consideration these lingusitic qualities of the novel, we presume that the article will be interesting for readers interested in psycho-linguistics as well.  


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გამყრელიძე თ., კიკნაძე ზ., შადური ი., შენგელაია ნ. თეორიული ენათმეცნიერების კურსი. (2008). თბილისის უნივერსიტეტის გამომცემლობა. თბილისი.

Boyne J. (2006). The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas. David Fickling Books Publishers. 2006.

Hughes K. (2006). The Review of The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas. The Guardian. 2006; მოძიებულია 2.09.2022;

Tucker N. (2006). The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas, by John Boyne.; მოძიებულია 10.09.2022;

Wright E. (2006). The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas. The Age. 2006.; მოძიებულია 10.09.2022.




How to Cite

Dzamukashvili, N. (2023). Peculiarities of One Narrative− on Holocaust, without Metaphors (based on The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas by John Boyne). TRANSACTIONS OF TELAVI STATE UNIVERSITY, (1(35).