Markus Zusak’s coming-of-age, historical fiction novel, The Book Thief, tells the story of Liesel Meminger, a foster child brought to live with a family in Molching, Germany during World War II. Throughout the novel, Liesel meets many characters who show tremendous courage in the face of the circumstances they are forced to endure like Hans, Rudy, and Max. However, the courage that they exhibit is not always the kind where they run out into battle with guns blazing but something else.
A main reason Liesel develops into the character she is by the end of the novel is due to the individuals she meets and her relationships with them. When Hans Hubermann becomes
Max Vandenburg appeared at 33 Himmel street looking for refuge from the German authorities, in the home of his late father 's friend, Hans Hubermann. Rosa and Hans took Max into their home, fed him, and nursed him back to health after he fell ill due to the severe cold in the dark hubermann basement. Although Rosa and Hans provided necessities, Liesel provided Max with well needed company and friendship. “At least once a day, hans Hubermann would descend the basement steps and share a conversation. Rosa would occasionally bring a spare crust of bread. It was when Liesel came down, however, that Max found himself interested in life again.” (Page 250). From the day Max left the Hubermann household in fear of being found, Liesel made sure to look
Liesel had a very tough childhood with her mother abandoning her and her brother dying, plus everybody else she lost. Even though she suffered many terrible events during her childhood, she still prevailed through it by reading books and using her words. Her obsession with stealing books and living in the Hubermann household represented the beauty in her life in the wake of the brutality caused by the Nazi party. She spent quality time learning how to read with Hans, and was amazed how kind and patient Hans was. Liesel bonding with Mas was also a part of the beauty in her life, in spite of the brutality and the despair happening in her life. She read books with Max and spent a lot of time with each other, even writing books together. Their friendship adds to the beauty that Liesel’s life represented, even though Max was a Jew, she still befriended him. Markus Zusak’s poetic writing enhances Liesel’s story by adding imagery and many bold headlines to write important statements. Without these elements, the story would have been overwhelmingly boring and depressing. The bold headline is used as emphasis, such as “I am haunted by humans” to add more meaning to the quote. (Zusak
People do not know the numerous hardships a young German girl can encounter throughout her childhood. Throughout the novel Book Thief, by Markus Zusak, a young German girl named Liesel, encounters several hardships. She is separated from her father, her brother dies, and finally she is separated from her mother and given to foster parents who only want her for money. She struggles with being different from other children when she is sent to school where she reads in front of the class, even though she does not know how to read and embarasses herself. She then takes it upon herself to learn to read and write. Liesel then has a difficult secret to keep involving the arrival of Max, a German Jew. The hardships of a young German girl are
At the beginning of the novel, she developed her first friendship with Hans. Hans is a warm-hearted and compassionate man who was the first that connected to Liesel. When Liesel first arrived at Himmel Street, she refused to leave the car and meet her new family. While it took them quite a bit of time to persuade her to leave, “It was the tall man who did it”(28). The first encounter between Liesel and Hans is a memorable and significant moment because it is the moment that shows how their friendship initiated. If Hans would not have sat by Liesel’s side and coaxed her to leave the car, then she would not have developed that initial trust that transpired through this. Another moment that helped the connection between the two is when Liesel had nightmares and Hans would come in and comfort her by teaching her how to read or when they would go to the basement to teach Liesel how to spell and write. These moments shared between the two created a bond through books since Hans and she spent a lot of time together which developed the trust in Liesel towards
“Words - so innocent and powerless as they are, as standing in a dictionary, how potent for good and evil they become in the hands of one who knows how to combine them.”(“Words Quotes - BrainyQuote”). In the novel The Book Thief by Markus Zusak, words are expressed to change the minds of Hitler’s followers to believe his every word. Words are also used against German citizens if they do not conform to the societal expectations. On the other hand, Liesel has a lust for words and she wishes to use them to positively impact others. Unlike Liesel, Hitler is focused on using his words to corrupt. There are many instances in the novel that words are used to mend and also harm. For example, Liesel reads to her neighbours during the air raids to
Both these protagonists happen to be political refugees avoiding Nazi persecution: Liesel’s parents were Communists and Max is a Jew. Max and Liesel alike have recurring nightmares about the last time they saw their families and these help Max and Liesel link themselves in areas where no one would understand their pain due to the loss of their family. Unlike most relationships theirs is based on their similar past and personalities as well as unspoken understanding along with the trust for each other. These similarities form a strong bond between Max and Liesel and this makes “The Standover Man”, a book compiled by Max using pages from “Mein Kampf” important, as Max helps Liesel realize that the power of words can be used to delight as well as harm others. “The best standover man I’ve ever known is not a man at all...”, a line within “The Standover Man” implies that Max believes that Liesel and he need each other and this friendship is unique to both of
The theme of this book is learning to love and care for the people around. How I came to this conclusion is by how Liesel acts towards Max, her foster parents, Rudy, and her neighbors. Liesel cares for people even if they weren't like her and she doesn't understand why there is hatred in this world. She wanted the world to be a happy place for everyone including Jews to be friends with one another. On page 426 in ‘The Book Thief’, when Rudy’s father went to war Liesel could relate to Rudy because “her mother. Her brother. Max Vandenburg. Hans Hubermann. All of them gone. And she’d never even had a real father.” Also, when Mama was depressed about Papa going to war, Mama would sleep with Papa’s accordion Liesel acknowledged “that there was great beauty in what she was currently witnessing, and she chose not to disturb it” (Zusak, 429). Finally, when Liesel’s papa gave a Jew bread during the parade and what Liesel did during the parade, she gave Jews bread by placing them in the street.
“It’s just a small story really, about, among other things: a girl, some words, an accordionist, some fanatical Germans, a Jewish fist fighter, and quite a lot of thievery…” (Zusak, pg. 5)
Their relationship dominates the middle section of the book, as Max comes to Himmel street just as part three starts, and Liesel thinks about him almost constantly as soon as he arrives. Consequently, the first quote I chose for them was when Liesel first catches a glimpse of Max in the kitchen. “She lingered a moment before her feet dragged from behind. When she stopped and stole one last look at the foreigner in the kitchen, she could decipher the outline of a book on the table” (Zusak 186). In this scene, Liesel sees Max’s book, and this is the start of the two of them and their connection with words that appears continuously through the rest of the novel. The second quote comes from a very sweet scene in which Max asks Liesel to cut his hair. “He carried his own scissors and came forward, handing them not to Hans or Rosa but to the twelve-year-old girl. She was the calmest option. His mouth quivered a moment before he said, ‘Would you?’” (Zusak 245). In this scene, Hans and Rosa are arguing, and Hans remembers the girl’s comment about his hair being like feathers, so he asks her to cut it for him. It shows a trusting between Max and Liesel for one of the first times, after a while of awkwardness and quietness. The third quote I chose was “‘Often I wish this would all be over, Liesel, but then somehow you do something like walk down the basement steps with a snowman in your hands’” (Zusak 313). Max is speaking to Liesel and telling her that, even though his life is incredibly hard, some people make it worth it. Just a few little things someone does can make it all worth it, to keep living, like bringing someone a snowman. The final quote I chose for Max and Liesel is another moment of closeness for them. It happens just after Max wakes up from being sick and asleep for days and days, and he confides in Liesel. “Trepidation found its way onto his face and he made a
Ann Landers once said, “Love is friendship that has caught fire. It is quiet understanding, mutual confidence, sharing and forgiving. It is loyalty through good and bad times. It settles for less than perfection and makes allowances for human weaknesses.” This quotation means that friendship is can be good, and bad. Understanding one another through good, and bad, but allowing the other to get hurt causes greater problems. This quotation relates to the novel Passing because it shows the friendship between two childhood friends who rekindle their friendship as grown adults. The novel Passing, written by Nella Larsen talks about two African American woman with different experiences. The relationship between the two African American woman who share two different lifestyles, but similar in different ways. Both characters have many similarities and differences. Irene is a colored woman who is married with
Change is an important part of life. Change could mean a lot of things. It could mean how the character changes their personality or attitude or it could mean how the character learns from their mistakes. In the novel, the book thief, the change that Liesel undergoes as a dynamic character is fascinating. After moving into a different town, she makes a lot of new relationships, also she shows her determination and passion towards books, she also starts understanding the power of words. Firstly, after moving into a different town, she makes a lot of new relationships. In the beginning of the novel, Liesel starts having a hard time trusting and allowing herself to be vulnerable
Forty million people a day view Instagram stories, 79% of teenagers use Snapchat once a day, and 51% use it at least eleven times a day. In fact, teenagers use on average five screens a day (Patel, “10 Tips”). The use of social media makes teenagers happier and cures their boredom after school. However, problems arise when young people find all their satisfaction on social media. All this time spent on social media and whether you get enough “likes” could result in a bad outcome and cause poor health. Some teenagers know social media leads to loss of sleep, more anxiety issues, and even failing to communicate with the outside world (Schupak, “Does Technology”). The Book Thief by Markus Zusak has a similar theme. Set in World War II, Liesel, the main character gets taken from her mother to live with the Hubermanns on Himmel Street and her brother perishes along the way. She grows close to her new papa Hans, mama Rosa, as well as Rudy, a boy who influences her tremendously. Her family welcomes a Jewish man named Max, into hiding in their basement. Max and Liesel gain a very strong friendship until he must leave for the family’s safety. In the end, the Allied Powers bomb the city, leaving Liesel as the lone survivor, leaving Liesel to face an extremely difficult time. In the end, the narrator, Death, reunites her with Max. Liesel lives a wonderful life and passes peacefully. In the novel, The Book Thief, Zusak proves the satisfaction found in corruption and harmful choices
a. "She had watched a bomber pilot die in a metal case. She had seen a Jewish man who had twice given her the most beautiful pages of her life marched to a concentration camp"(521). - Liesel has been through so many struggles. Her brother died in front of her, her mother sent her away, and she witnessed almost everyone she loved depart from the world. She had more than enough reasons to quit, but she decided to stay strong through it all. She is brave enough to live with the memories, and rather than thinking of them as a burden, she wears them as a badge of honour.