“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)
The novel, The Book Thief written by Markus Zusak in 2005 explores the theme of family relationships. It is through nine-year-old Liesel Meminger, the protagonist, that the idea of a broken family during the era of Nazi Germany is explored.
The Book Thief depicts the struggle of young German girl, Liesel Meminger, living in Germany during the time of Hitler’s reign. Liesel struggles to survive in a war-torn society filled with hatred and injustice. Her life is changed forever when she begins her love affair with books. With the help of her accordion-playing …show more content…
‘That [Death] in a way was a metaphor for the idea that this book is about people doing beautiful things in a really ugly time.’ (Zusak, 2010)
One of the central themes presented in The Book Thief is the idea of family. It is evident in the text that the idea of a family is not just limited to those in which we are inherently connected; it encompasses those we care for.
Her arrival on Himmel Street, leaves Liesel struggling to face the abandonment she has experienced with her mother leaving her for a reason she does not understand and the devastating loss of her brother, Werner, whose ghost haunts her throughout the novel. Liesel’s only connection to them is through The Grave Digger’s Handbook which is also her first act of book thievery. Han is Liesel’s silver eyed, accordion playing foster father who wins her over with his gentle humility, quiet nature and caring demeanour. ‘They were made of kindness and silver… Liesel when seeing those eyes understood that Hans Hubermann was worth a lot.’ (Zusak 2005, pg. 34). Liesel associates his accordion playing with the presence of safety. When asked about the character …show more content…
Everything Rudy does after that moment, when you know he’s going to die at the age of 14, everything is in the shadow of that.’ (Zusak, 2010). Max Vandenburg is the Jewish man who seeks refuge in the Hubermann’s basement putting their lives in great danger. Max’s father saved Hans’ life in World War II and caring for Max is Hans’ way of repaying Max for what his father did for him. Max and Liesel’s match of personalities and shared qualities enable the two to become such great friends, giving each other’s life purpose and the drive to survive the horrors of the war. An important role model in Liesel’s life is Ilsa Hermann. After seeing Liesel steal a book at the book burning, she gives her the ‘window of opportunity’ (Zusak, pg. 155) inviting her into her library and sharing her own love of books with Liesel. The reader eventually learns that Ilsa is still mourning the loss of her own son many years before. Ilsa takes Liesel into her care after the tragedy of the bombing raids that results in the death of Hans and Rosa leaving Liesel traumatised and
After her mother learns she cannot look after Liesel and her brother anymore, she decides to take them to a foster family. Her brother, Werner dies on the train ride there. Liesel meets her new foster parents Hans and Rosa Hubermann. Hans and Rosa Hubermann find a purpose during the war by protecting and caring for Liesel. Liesel found joy and comfort in reading to Max while he was in the coma.
Death, our narrator, tells the story of Liesel Meminger. We begin with her at age nine, right after losing both her mother and brother. Liesel goes to live with foster parents Hans and Rosa Hubermann in Molching, Germany. When Liesel arrives, she is made of fun in school for not being able to read. She feels powerless, so Hans teaches her how to read at night in their basement, reading from a book Liesel stole from her brother 's funeral:
Most people say that blood runs thicker than water, but in this book that is not the case. In The Book Thief by Markus Zusak, family is shown in an extremely unique way. Generally, when people imagine the average model family, they see a family that has money, a family that is prim and proper and usually, a family that is biologically related. Though, family in this book is based on shared hardships and having faith in each other, not by blood relation. Hans and Liesel’s relationship is a great example of trust.
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.
Liesel’s experience with death altered her view on life into something that most young girls could never imagine. Firstly, many different events in The Book Thief changed Lisel. When Liesel arrived at 33 Himmel Street she was lonely and afraid. For example “Liesel would not get out of the car.”
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.
He killed himself for wanting to live” (Zusak 503). While Michael deals with guilt by self destructing, Liesel, the main character, handles guilt using other methods. Liesel encounters guilt through the death of her loved ones in addition to the sadness of losing everything she had. She deals with this guilt by stealing books and reading with her Papa. By stealing books, she achieved the famous nickname, the Book Thief.
Liesel was the last one to part from her brother’s grave and upon walking back to her mother she notice that there was a book laying in the snow. It belonged to one of the gravediggers but she didn 't know that at the time so she took it. It was the first book that she had “stolen.” Later that day she was separated from her mother and taken to her new home on 33 Himmel Street to live with Rosa and Hans Hubermann, her foster parents.
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.
In the novel, Liesel’s behavior shows justice and love through her friendship with Max. Although her relationship with Max in the beginning of the book was rather awkward, soon her perspective towards Max soothes and their relationship bonds to a friendship. There are some times when Liesel’s actions were unbelievable, especially during the Jew parade. “ ‘ You have to let go of me Liesel.’
One of the most important recurring themes throughout The Book Thief was Liesel’s relationships with all of the people in her life. She grows close with several different people, and trusts, loves, and cares for them all differently but equally. Three of those relationships will be explored more deeply; Liesel’s relationship with her foster father, Hans Hubermann, the Jewish man her family takes in, Max Vanderburg, and her best friend, Rudy Steiner. Liesel’s relationship with Hans is one of the most important, if not the most important, relationships in the novel. Hans is the first person Liesel trusts, and the person who stays with her and loves her until the end.
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.