Identity In The Book Thief

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Although humans may originally behave due to innate reasons, much of literature argues external forces shape character and possess the power to influence the way societies behave. Markus Zusak’s The Book Thief exhibits how individuals may react in times of discrimination, and demonstrates the love and hate accompanying war. Difficult times challenge morality, and tests one’s limits; Liesel Meminger perseveres through arduous events, namely due to her identity as a creative and brave adolescent. Liesel’s identity is shaped and ultimately strengthened by outside forces.
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 …show more content…

On Hitler’s birthday in 1940, when “[t]he Hubermanns couldn’t find their flag” (103) to hang on the window, Rosa Hubermann starts to panic. Without the flag on the window, Rosa is afraid “‘[they’ll] come and take [them] away.’” (103) which is an immense consequence for something as simple as lacking a flag, however, because it represents their devotion to Nazi Germany it is essential to have on display. Furthermore, Liesel must salute the Führer many times throughout her years on Himmel Street. Whether she is compelled to (because “[she] [won’t] be served” (50) at Frau Diller’s otherwise) or practicing it for the BDM, she is forced to heil Hitler because without doing, so she is will be punished. In addition to glorifying Hitler, saluting symbolizes Hitler’s dominance over his citizens, which subconsciously indoctrinates them and ensures his reign. None of the main characters in The Book Thief stand by Hitler’s beliefs, however, unless they want to be disciplined, they are forced to conform.
Due to outside forces, Liesel Meminger’s identity is formed and strengthened. Liesel is able to learn from her relationships, the major events she experiences, and even the culture she is surrounded by, to construct the person she becomes. Retaining one’s virtue whilst living in Nazi Germany is challenging,

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