A smile. A hug. A gift. The smallest things can brighten a person’s day or put a smile on someone’s face. Humility is a virtue that not all people possess. Even if a person is down, it is still important to prioritize humbleness because it can make him find a light in a sea of darkness. The theme people who are hopeless can still be humble is relevant in Markus Zusak’s The Book Thief as shown through Hans, Max, and Ilsa Hermann, who keep this mentality in mind while trying to overcome hardships.
Throughout Europe, during World War II, fear abided in many people causing closed mouths and the idea of individuality and absurdity. Opinions were kept silent and the dictatorship in Germany persevered and became prosperous. Though many people were hushed by the fear of what could happen, few did stand out for their beliefs. Although many people did not voice their opinions, people like Raoul Wallenberg and Irena Sendler bravely hid and saved many Jewish people. Similar to Hans in The Book Thief, by Markus Zusak, he too helped harbor a Jewish man named Max in their basement. Mark Zusak, in The Book Thief, uses similes, situational irony, and symbolism to demonstrate the human trait of standing up for what they believe in.
Part 1 English 2 Pre-AP/GT Summer Reading Assessment – The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
The industrial revolution woke up the sense of humanity in people, yet at the same time It turned it off. To begin with, from the year 1819 through 1901, Great Britain was beginning to face an all new era called the Victorian Era. In fact, this era was named like that, because of queen Victoria. Also, this era was very important because it introduced medical advances, scientific knowledge, and technological knowledge that helped increase work efficiency. However, not all the things that occurred were great. One of the things that were very outrageous, were the working conditions of the employees. As a matter of fact, there were writers, like Charles Dickens with “A Christmas Carol”, Benjamin Disraeli with “Sybil”, and Elizabeth Gaskell with
Friendship is the medicine for a wounded heart and the vitamins for a hopeful soul. In The Book Thief by Markus Zusak, a girl named Liesel suffers through many losses. She is taken to a new home where she developed friendships that helped her heal her wounds and survive World War II. Friendship is portrayed through her connections with Hans, Rudy, and Max and it is learned how essential these friendships are to her survival.
Martin Luther King Jr. once said, “The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.” Hans Hubermann stood strong through moments of adversity. He stuck to his beliefs and personal opinions under the unrelenting reign of Adolf Hitler and the Nazi Party. In The Book Thief Hans Hubermann displayed his morals, a comforting essence, and trustworthiness under horribly negative conditions.
The Book Thief is narrated by Death. Throughout the book he makes casual remarks about his job, but occasionally he puts the casual talk on hold, and that is when one can infer that he cares about something. Rudy Steiner was a talented boy, from running around a track, to soccer, to memorizing facts about ancient beings, he was the best of the best, and what is hard to like about that?
Humans lie and steal without hesitation to survive. That is how man is. However, human nature does not allow for cruelty to exist without the other end of the spectrum - kindness. In his novel, The Book Thief, Markus Zusak reveals the extreme malice possible in humans, along with the tenderness that stems from it. In times of hate and paranoia in Nazi Germany, ones who live morally are rare. The need to survive takes over most of the people, leading them to act cruelly. Even in desperation, there are those who rise above chaos to fight in countering the harshness of society. Zusak suggests that when man understands that they must carry out kindness in the midst of cruelty they are empowered as individuals to fight for the survival of humanity.
Death’s search for beauty in World War II surrounds the whole book. With the fighting among both sides of the war along with the Holocaust, Death is constantly at work while people continue to die. Death saw beauty in Leisel’s story on Himmel Street, but he also saw darkness in people along with the war and how it can tear families apart. Death saw beauty and ugliness in Hans, Rudy, and Leisel which helped him see some of the beauty that came from World War II.
Change is an inevitable aspect of life; however the most significant changes occur when an individual develops a sought after skill or learns imperative information. In the novel The Book Thief the novel’s main protagonist Liesel Meminger encounters numerous moments which help define her characterization as she grows as a character. Firstly one of Liesel’s most poignant moments occurs once she pieces together her vague past and during the same process discovers her reason for loathing Hitler. When Liesel heard the word communist being mentioned in a negative connotation at the book burning, she became stricken with fear as this word was all she knew of her past life. Liesel’s desire for answers on her Mother’s disappearance leads to her asking Hans if Hitler was one
To love is to risk. Whether that is risking life, belief, health, or reputation, it is still a risk at any rate to give devotion to another. No era in history knows this better than during the Holocaust. Still, the most unexpected of people would die trying to help Jews escape persecution, they would help others who didn't share the same moral foundation as they did, they would share food rations when they barely had enough for themselves, or they would risk their public standing and forever be labeled as a sympathizer just to help a suffering soul regain his balance. Similarly, Markus Zusak's The Book Thief demonstrates a complete comprehension of how humans act against self preservation and individual comfort when challenged with harrowing situations that appeal to their own personal connections. To portray this concept, Zusak inserts vivid scenes depicting self sacrifice for the betterment of others.
In The Book Thief by Markus Zusak, Hans Hubermann is presented a wonderful father to Liesel Meminger and a satisfactory husband to Rosa Hubermann. To start off, Hans is a loving and selfless father to young Liesel. In the first weeks of Liesel arriving “ He came in every night and sat with her [whispering] [s]hhhh, I’m here , It’s all right”(Markus Zusak 64) after her nightmare as he held her. This shows the audience that Hans loved her and would always get up to comfort her so that she felt at home and safe, as he earned Liesel’s trust that because she knew he would always be there for her. Also Hans demonstrates his selflessness as he explains “ I am not such a good reader myself” (65), but still continues
Throughout history, humans have greatly evolved as a species. Despite many physical changes, the inherently good nature of humankind and its tendency towards kindness has prevailed. The constant craving for both physical and emotional connections as well as the comfort humans find in each other are demonstrative of humankind’s true values. Humanity’s natural inclination toward bettering situations is demonstrative of the inherently good nature of humankind, that allows for societal advancements. In Donna Tartt’s The Goldfinch, the protagonist Theo Decker experiences many hardships that cause him to make questionable decisions. Through his struggles, Theo experiences the natural human tendency towards kindness both within himself and through others. There are many people in his life who aid in guiding Theo towards his inner morality and allowing him to discover the inherent goodness within himself. Boris, Hobie and the other less prominent characters present throughout The Goldfinch represent aspects of modern civilization, ultimately demonstrating the inherently good nature of humankind as they guide, support and comfort Theo in order to overcome his obstacles and find his inner integrity.
How does a person’s response to and perspective of a crisis define him or her?
The sacrifices an individual makes for the sake of others really says something about them as a person. For example, in the story The Memory Keeper's Daughter by Kim Edwards, Caroline takes in Phoebe to be her child, putting her whole life on hold so Phoebe has a chance of having a happy life.