The Importance Of Childhood In The Book Thief

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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. Those few can describe childhood 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. At only nine years of age, Liesel was separated from her biological family. Her family always lived in constant hunger due to poverty, and Liesel’s mother had to sustain the family on her own now that her husband was taken away for being a communist. In an effort to make life better for her children, Mrs. Meminger decided to put her two children up for foster care. Neither of the children wanted to be separated from their mother, and unluckily for Liesel, she was on her own in this new life. Her brother Werner died on the train ride there from a pre-existing sickness, right in front of Liesel. The family had to make a stop on their ride to the new foster family to have a funeral for the little boy. After the burial ended, Zusak explained that “Still in disbelief, she started to dig. He couldn’t be dead. He couldn’t be dead. He couldn’t-- Within seconds, snow was carved into her skin. Frozen blood was cracked across her hands” (Zusak 23). Liesel was grieving immensely, and her brother’s death seemed
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