The book I read was “The Book Thief” by Markus Zusak. The title is called “The Book Thief” because the main character named Liesel does not know how to read so she steals books and her best friend Rudy calls her a book Theif in chapter 42.
In the Book thief, there are a great many books that liesel comes to own and almost all of them are a symbol for something. From persecution, to friendship, to coming to terms with someone you were mad at. Every story in the pages of The Book thief is a work of art and worth reading.
Every time Liesel steals books from people, she consistently places the lives of others at risk. An example of this is when Liesel is worried about Max dying and wants to steal a book and read it to him
In The Book Thief, a work of historical fiction, written by Markus Zusak introduces the main character Liesel Meminger, the reader starts to see how she keeps having many conflicts but always stays positive. Liesel has many conflicts, for example her brother dies early in the book and that shapes the way she is. Later on Liesel steals books and that makes her happy because the first book she stole was the grave digger's handbook and that is how she remembers her brother. Liesel steals and reads books this is how she finds happiness with all the bad things going on around her. In the end of the book most of the people she loves die and it is hard for her to find happiness again. The author uses the setting and point of view to express theme and to make the reader feel sympathy; He uses this because with the theme of finding light in the darkness, deaths perception, and the setting of Germany makes the theme clearer.
Death states that, “I’m always finding humans at their best and worst. I see their ugly and their beauty, and I wonder how the same thing can be both” (Zusak 491). This book shows us human doing things that weren’t even imaginable before this point. Many people give into ideas that were lies. But, we also watch a few people go out of their way and sacrifice everything for a man they barely even know. They do everything they can to keep him safe and alive. They work harder, the get another job, and they even steal. In Markus Zusak’s The Book Thief, death examines the ugliness and the beauty of humans.
Liesel, the book thief herself, steals books in times of pain. All six books Liesel steals are metaphors for the feelings of loss and pain during the time of which the book was stolen. She uses the books to grow knowledge of the situations occurring around her, one stolen book in particular is “The Gravedigger’s Handbook” This book is the first of all books Liesel steals, and it is the book that caused her to grow to love words, coincidently, she finds this book in the snow on the day of her brother’s death, which is when she was filled with grief and abandonment. This book is a symbol for Liesel’s grief and as she tries to learn how to read the book, her twisted comfort in the story shows how the words had a powerful effect on her grieving process shown by the quotation, “…Not to mention the morbidity of the subject. As for the girl, there was a sudden desire to read it that she didn't even attempt to understand” (Zusak, 66)
Within every human being, through affirmation and recognition by others, one’s worth and value, a sense of belonging is formed. This concept is the main theme within the text, The Book Thief (2005) written by Markus Zusak. The main character, Liesel Meminger, is abandoned by her mother at the age of ten (10) she then spends the next few years finding where she belongs in the world. Throughout the novel Liesel's sense of belonging to the characters Hans Hubermann, Max Vandenburg and Adolf Hitler; the Fuhrer, result in shaping and influence her to view the world differently. This essay will be examining Liesel’s sense of belonging with each of these characters and their effect on her personality, views and ideas.
In the beginning of The Book Thief, the reader meets Liesel Meminger, her mother, and her brother, Werner Meminger. The father is never introduced. It is only said that he is a communist. Werner dies on the train to Himmel Street, the place that Liesel is left with a couple, Hans and Rosa Hubermann. Liesel’s mother is never seen again, but the reader assumes that she was taken away for being one of the Nazi’s targets. According to The Book Thief, “What came to her then was the dustiness of the floor, the feeling that her clothes were more next to her than on her, and the sudden realization that this would all be for nothing—that her mother would never write back and she would never see her again.” Nazis were the epitome of evil. They tore families apart and killed millions of innocent people.
In the past few weeks, we have been reading the book, the Book Thief by Markus Zusak. The book tells the story of Liesel Meminger, a girl from Germany in the time of the Holocaust. The book starts with her as a nine year old, and progresses through her life until she is an old lady. The story details the life of this woman through these times. And in the story, her priorities are reading and learning. She steals books like The Grave Digger’s Handbook and The Shoulder Shrug, but one book which has negative influence was the book made by the Nazi Leader, Adolf Hitler, Mein Kampf (My Struggle). Hitler wrote the autobiographical book, which was spread around the Germans, who were brainwashed by the propaganda. The Mein Kampf influenced these citizens, but was the influence good? The book created nothing but negativity. There are three examples which are strong showings to prove the influence of the Führer caused nothing but hatred. Those three are Hans Junior, Max, and the entire population of the Jews. Those three personas were effected in a way which caused nothing but hurt to people.
The Book Thief by Markus Zusak shows through the midst of brutality, beauty can still be shown. The main characters Liesel Meminger, Rudy Steiner and Hans Huberman, prove this statement they are all faced with perilous situations, but still manage to show beauty throughout the situations. Liesel Meminger display beauty during the air raids, as she manages to read to people in the basement. Rudy Steiner displays beauty he jumps in the river to get Liesel’s book. Through Hans Huberman nobel character he displays beauty as he risks his life to hide a Jewish man in his basement.
The book 's importance is explained through Death where ‘“The books meaning 1. The last time she saw her brother. 2. The last time she saw her mother.” Despite Liesel being illiterate, the Gravedigger’s handbook holds significant meaning for the character. Liesel has an overwhelming feeling of loss of control and acts out in rebellion to steal the book that lay beside her brothers grave. By stealing the book, she has a reminder of her small family and it stops her feeling defeated by her ever changing life, which she has no control over. This idea is then reinforced with another action of the character. Liesel then finds out that Hitler was the cause of the suffering and loss of freedom of the people she loved and knew in her life.This second act of rebellion takes place while Liesel visits a Nazi book burning. Liesel soon understands that the Nazi’s burnt books to brainwash citizens of Germany(_____). As a result of this Lisel then understands the importance and power words have, causing her to again acts rebelliously in a protest. “And it was anger and dark hatred that had fueled her desire to steal it.” This passage from the novel shows the emotions of Liesel. As a character who is unable to express herself verbally, her actions speak for her. Liesel 's desire to understand words begins to grow, with her understanding that Nazis burn books in fear of what they may do to society.
Historically, people have used literacy to obtain political power. In the novel The Book Thief by Markus Zusak, it is evident that books, reading, and words themselves represent power for different characters in different ways. Close analysis of Liesel Meminger and Max Vandenburg reveals that power can be achieved through literacy in a context where literacy is severely limited.
Through all of the irony and vivid coloring, The Book Thief is more easily understood after acquiring knowledge of reading literature with greater care and meticulousness. Applying chapters of How to Read Literature like a Professor can better enhance a reader’s awareness of hidden messages and symbols within certain works of literature. In Chapter Two, Foster explains how meals suggest a communion between all parties involved in it. Markus Zusak also uses meals and food to bring families together in The Book Thief. Foster also explains, in Chapter Eleven, how violence in literature usually stands for more than just violence.
“The power of words, written or spoken, have life. They can change the world.” (search quotes). The power of words should not be underestimated. Liesel proves this to be true in the novel and the film The Book Thief. She uses words to develop relationships with her foster father, Hans Hubermann; Max Vandenburg, the illicit Jew in her basement; and her neighbours. In the novel The Book Thief by Markus Zusak there is much more relationship development compared to the film The Book Thief directed by Brian Percival. This consequently causes the theme of the power of words to be less prominent in the film.