The Book Thief: A Character Analysis

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“Goodnight Saumensch” Rosa whispered. Saumensch means pig. Rosa just called her child a pig. Already at the beginning of the “The Book Thief”, not only does the reader see Liesel suffocate in the cruel words of her mother, but we also see her avoid any situation that could ignite Rosa’s abusive side. As soon as Max arrived in Liesel’s home there was a sudden shift in Rosa’s feelings and her concern for Max’s safety and Liesel’s sanity was evident as she terminated practically all of her abusive ways. Liesel sees Rosa’s love for the first time and this totally alters Liesel’s perception of her. This newfound love leaves its impact on the relationships around it.
When Liesel first meets Rosa, she doesn’t necessarily trust her. Liesel has to
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“You hide a Jew. You pay. Somehow or other, you must,” yet Rosa’s new attitude lets “The scrawled words of practice stood magnificently on the wall by the stairs, jagged and childlike and sweet. They looked on as both the hidden Jew and the girl slept, hand to shoulder. They breathed. German and Jewish lungs.” Her leniency toward Liesel lets her build relationships that are critical to her life and the novel. Liesel was less tied to work as it began to die and through this she was able to explore and venture out into the world. She creates bonds that could never be broken. Rosa Hubermann evolves throughout “The Book Thief” and Liesel Meminger recognizes this. Rosa begins to love, care, and cherish her family in the time of great danger. There is a shift in the family's daily routine as they add Max to is, yet Rosa takes it very well. This is a critical turning point in the Hubermann household. She doesn’t scream and she’s not mean, but instead morphs into the mother Liesel wanted her to be. This enables Liesel become exposed to the realities of the war and develop relationships that are critical to
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