Dehumanization is the process by which the Nazis gradually reduced the Jews to little more than "things" which were a nuisance to them. The Jews in these concentration camps were greatly disrespected. They experienced several beatings, were undernourished, and overworked. Elie and the other Jews eventually lost faith in God, and witness unpleasant events never to be seen again.
“She saw it so clearly, her starving mother, her missing father, her dead brother” (Zusak 111). This thought had occurred to Liesel during the book burning. After witnessing all the Hitler supporters chant and scream Liesel had realized on harsh fact, she was truly alone. Not only, but also Liesel had come to realization she has truly lost her freedom and rights as a human being. “A collection of men walked from a platform and surrounded the heal “Heil Hitler” they chanted “Die Judens”(Zusak 113). Liesel has realized she must respect the man who was the reason for her and her entire families suffering. She has realized she officially has lost her home, that she is completely isolated from the community. “It was quite a sight seeing an eleven year old girl try not to cry on church steps, saluting fuhrer”(Zusak 115). After losing all of these emotionally wrecking things Liesel learns and understands she needs to keep going forward. She refuses to give up she although times are rough manages to think, it could be worse. Losing rights and privileges truly prepares you for the worst and transforms you for better.
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.
Courageously, Liesel went ahead and befriended Max. Liesel made Max feel wanted and his whole attitude changed. Instead of feeling like an unwanted Jew that represented everything wrong with Germany, Liesel made Max feel like a human. In other words, Liesel took Max how he already was and left him better than he was previous to their relationship. Liesel courageously developed loyalty toward Max in a time when she could have seen him as an enemy. For this reason, Liesel best illustrates courage in The Book Thief by befriending
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.
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
For most people, childhood is a time that should be celebrated because of the bliss and innocence one experiences then. For others, it is the complete opposite. Childhood for those few can be described as being full of uncertainty and fear. In The Book Thief, Markus Zusak portrays Liesel’s childhood and adolescence as a time of tribulation and terror after being separated from her family, having to conform to a society she did not agree with, and living surrounded by war and violence.
In a span of 10 years, the Holocaust killed over 7 million people, that’s just as much as the population of Hong Kong. In the book Night, by Elie Wiesel, Wiesel shares his experience on how he survived the Holocaust and what he went through. How he dealt with the horrors and even to how he felt of his dad’s death and how he saw himself after it was all over. As he tried to publish it he was constantly turned down due to the fact of how horrid and truful it was. He still tried and tried until it was finally published. This book shows how the Holocaust should be taught and not be forgotten, due to it being a prime example of human impureness. Humans learn off trial and error, how the Jewish population was affected, decrease in moral, and the unsettled tension are prime examples of such mistakes.
To Heal and to Hurt: The Importance of Words in The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
“He - if there’s anything you ever need” (179). Hans Hubermann made a promise to Erik Vandenburg’s wife to help out in any way he could. He stuck to this promise and, consequently, agreed to house Max twenty years later. This shows how Hans kept to his promises and people could trust him. Housing a Jew in Nazi Germany could have lead to severe punishment, nevertheless, Hans decided to help Max in his time of need because he knew that he needed to stick to his commitment.“‘Papa,’ she whispered, ‘Papa’ and that was all. He could probably smell it. He lifted her gently from the bed and carried her into the washroom” (63). In this passage of the book Liesel wetted the bed, Papa discovered this and simply washed the sheets without saying a word. Furthermore, this demonstrates how people trusted Hans with pertinent information. Liesel trusted her papa even more after this encounter, Hans knew to keep this a secret to protect Liesel’s feelings. With all the negativity and poorness in Hans’ life, he would have been expected to respond negatively, but in reality, Hans did the complete opposite.
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
According to Harmful and Undesirable by Guenter Lewy, “Hitler had argued in Mein Kampf that the Jews had “poisoned German culture,” including literature, and had “wrecked all the conceptions of beauty and dignity” (101). Words were important for Liesel. She stated, “I have hated the words and I have loved them” (Zusak 528). She hated the words because a powerful word “communism” had tore her away from her mother. She loved the words because they connected her with her friend Max Vandenburg. However, words also separated them when Max, a Jewish man had to leave the Hubermann’s home in fear he would be found. It was Hitler’s words and his believes that had brought Liesel and her friend apart. Thus, Liesel knew how powerful words are. “The words. Why did they have to exist? Without them, there wouldn’t be any of this. Without words, the Führer was nothing...What good were the words?” Liesel realized how words made Hitler powerful. She hated Hitler and his power. She hated him because he took her mother and her friend Max away.
The power of words in “The Book Thief” and the endless strength they carry is a prime topic throughout the book. “The Book Thief”, a novel narrated by Death about Liesel, a young German girl who is given up for adoption to live with the Hubermann’s shortly before World War II. Liesel discovers the power that words, written or spoken, have to transform people, relationships, and lives. In the novel, Mark Zusak uses the relationship between characters to signify the power of words. Within “The Book Thief” the author suggests that words hold much power and have a major role in crafting the relationships between the characters.
Working thesis statement: Helping Jews was very dangerous in Nazi Germany during World War Two because of Hitler’s bigoted nationalism, yet numerous Germans civilians and soldiers assisted a Jew in some way during the time of war. In The Book Thief by Markus Zusak, Liesel’s fictitious family and friends help Jews in the same ways that real life Germans helped Jews to hide and escape during World War II.
“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)