External Forces In The Book Thief

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External forces have the ability to alter the persona of an individual throughout their life. In Markus Zusak’s The Book Thief Liesel Meminger lives in a poor household at the height of Nazi-run Germany. Large outside forces that have a direct impact on the personal life of Liesel develop her character gradually throughout the novel in a combination of negative and positive ways. The relationships Liesel forms with others, and the major events that happen in the harsh society influence her character. Liesel’s identity is shaped by the external forces she experiences which evolves her character. Major events are impactful on an individual’s being and can rewire a person’s personality completely. Possibly the most significant Liesel…show more content…
For instance, Max Vandenburg's friendship with Liesel influences her to learn from the mistakes of others and herself, as well as provide the pair with joy amongst the darkness World War II holds. When Max explains how “[he feels] the fists of an entire nation… [they] beat him down[,] they make him bleed[,] they let him suffer… he [notices] a tear torn down [Liesel’s] left cheek” (254, 255). Therefore Liesel strives to grasp the full extent of the suffering ‘her people’ have place upon Max and the Jewish people. The shame and sorrow she feels develops a new perspective on the world around her and makes her determined to be better to the people in her life. Also, Max fills the gap left in Liesel’s heart after her brother’s sudden death. Young Liesel craves the bond only achieved by siblings, Max and Liesel’s intimate relationship rivals one of siblings. Likewise, Hans Hubermann; as the only Father figure in Liesel’s life teaches her numerous positive life lessons. Since Liesel has no actual Father, she grasps onto the male guidance Hans provides her with. Liesel follows the instructions Hans gives undoubtedly due to her colossal love for him. Hans educates Liesel by issuing her with a set of morals on what is right and wrong, which Liesel carries with her throughout the entirety of her life. Thus, Max Vandenburg and Hans Hubermann become family to Liesel and influence her decisions
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