Feelings Towards Others Cause Irrational Actions in Markus Zusak's The Book Thief

Good Essays

Strong emotions towards another can cause one to act irrationally. In The Book Thief by Markus Zusak Rudy, Liesel, and her foster father Hans develop strong emotions towards others that cause them to act rashly. Rudy’s, Liesel’s, and Hans’s actions illustrate the unreasonable actions caused by strong feelings towards another.
Strong emotions towards another can cause one to act irrationally. This idea is prominent throughout The Book Thief especially through Hans Hubberman. Hans displays his irrationality at many points in the novel. One moment in particular was when he let a Jew he knew and deeply felt sorry for stay in his house. In the setting of the novel, 1940s Nazi Germany, Hans’s action was considered an illegal and punishable …show more content…

His strong feelings of sympathy for another caused him to do something that risked the separation of his family. His strong emotions for the Jew pushed him to make an irrational decision that risked the possible destruction of his family. Like many strong emotions, Hans’s brought out his irrationality.
Intense affection towards another can expose one’s irrationality. This idea can be displayed through Rudy Steiner in the actions taken in his life. One example is when Rudy decides to jump into a frigid river just to save a prized possession of the girl he loved. The narrator describes the possible reasons for Rudy’s strange actions. “He plunged into Amper (the frozen river) risking death, all in the name of a book and love” (Zusak 303). The narrator describes the cause of Rudy’s rash behavior. He explains that Rudy risked death just to retrieve an object that belonged to the girl he loved. Rudy’s strong emotions towards the girl caused him to make an irrational decision that could have potentially killed him or caused him to be ill. Rudy’s strong emotions display his irrationality in many other instances. At one point in the story Rudy decides to attack Franz Deutscher, a boy he hated. Rudy assaults him despite the boy’s obvious superiority in strength and size. Later on in a conversation with Liesel, Rudy describes why he attacked Franz. “’What were you thinking Suarkel?’ ‘I don’t know what I was thinking challenging someone so

Get Access