“The thing women have yet to learn is nobody gives you power. You just take it,” said comedian Roseanne Barr. A leader can overpower people; she can take control of what one can or cannot do, but only oneself can control how she treats others. In The Book Thief, Hitler
The Book Thief is set in the time of World War 2 where the Holocaust is present and disaster is everywhere. Throughout the story, Liesel, the main character, learns that words are extremely powerful and hold the ability for people to use them for good or for evil. Among the disaster and altercations, Liesel uses her literature to comfort her and make herself more powerful due to her knowledge, which demonstrates the theme of the story, the comfort and power of literature and words softens the pain of loss.
With the power of words, that causes the destruction of Germany and the world, Liesel’s uses that same power to deal with the terror of death that looms over them, allowing her to give power and hope, to those that need it, especially in the midst of the chaos of World War II. Where the German forces were deteriorating, and the Allies only grew stronger with each bomb that they drop, Liesel and her neighbors hide within one of the basements, in attempt to survive the onslaught of attacks, fearfully and anxious. The only things that were with them was each other, and their most precious items, and for Liesel, it was her books. All they could do was wait for sirens, and because of this uncertainty, Liesel took it upon herself to ease her distress.
The recuperative power of language is revealed when Liesel begins an intrepid career in book thievery, finding solace in books and words amidst the cataclysmic historical period of Nazi Germany. Liesel’s unconscious desire to overcome her traumatic experiences is discovered within the confines of the basement. This is symbolic as, in Freudian psychoanalysis, the basement represents unconscious drives, repressed fears, traumas and fantasies. In Liesel’s journey to process her trauma and acknowledge new traumas, she psychoanalytically seeks out the comfort of the womb due to the absence of a motherly figure in the form of the basement. Zusak alters the archetypal image of the basement, picturing it as a metaphorical ‘womb’ for Liesel, a place of salvation and safety. “Liesel revisited those dark rooms of her past.” (p. 117) When Liesel discovers it is unlikely she will ever see her biological mother, she retreads underneath the table in an attempt to alleviate her pain. However, when Liesel feels psychologically strong enough to face the trauma of her abandonment, she is able to leave her place of safety and security and share her story with Max. This demonstrates the complexities of trauma and how an individual utilises differing coping mechanisms to confront their psychological suffering. Liesel, whilst opening herself to the pain of others, learns to express and
Liesel Meminger is the daughter of Paula Meminger. She is also the sister of late Warren Meminger. Consequently, she steals the first book in the novel, called The Gravedigger's Handbook. Therefore, Death gave her the nickname of “ the book thief” before us knowing that she would become “the book thief”. Liesel Meminger is the hardworking, book-thieving, kind-hearted protagonist of The Book Thief. She loves books so much that she steals them, even before knowing how to read. All of this started because stealing books reminds her of Warren Meminger. This is even she bonds more with Hans Hubermann, her foster father, dedicates his time to teach her how to read. We might be asking, why hasn’t she gotten an education at the age of 10. The answer is not as clear as others, but it definitely has to do with Liesel father’s communist affiliations. He was part of the German Communist Party, that was popular when Hitler took over. This is also the reason why she had to be fostered.
Author Thomas Foster thoroughly examines the overall concept of characters in his book “How to Read Literature Like a Professor.” He discusses round and flat character and how this impacts the eventual outcome of the characters, themselves. Although all characters are vital and add their own value to the plot,
In The Book Thief written by Markus Zusak, it is evident that literacy is powerful in times of crisis, trauma, or development because the protagonist Liesel is able to use literacy to help cope during the difficult times she had to experience due to World War II. She uses it as a distraction to set her mind on the story the book reveals instead of the tragedies that are occurring simultaneously.
More than the overt message about the power of words, it’s Liesel’s confrontation with horrifying cruelty and her discovery of kindness in unexpected places that tell the heartbreaking truth.” (1) I do not agree with statement about too much commentary, I believe the commentary gives a perfect amount of insight into Liesel’s backstory, as well as Death’s past in his morbid business. As well as with the too much switching from past to present time, the switching is from Liesel’s current memory to her memory before the Hubermann family, and Max’s life before and after he had to run from the Nazis. I do feel like there is a lot of point of view switching between characters and at times that can get a bit confusing. However, the characters are spectacular and the message comes across loud and clear as you progress in Liesel’s life and her adventures as a book thief. It’s a book that deals with the reality of the life that people had to face during Nazi Germany, but in an entertaining way that’s appealing to the young adult audience. Some World War II books can get extremely boring, with little high points in the plot. But young adults can almost relate to Liesel, she has different aspects that appeal to all audiences.
Liesel is given a black book from Ilsa Hermann where she will write about everything that happened in her life this far. When she starts writing she learns that words are good and bad for people. She wants to make sure she made it right by writing a story of love and friendship.
Occuring her brother’s funeral, main character Liesel Meminger is stuck pondering in thought. This quote hints at the main point of the story referencing basically nazi reign. Following her brother’s funeral, Liesel stumbles upon a book that one of the gravediggers had dropped and Liesel proceeds to pick it up. This is the first book she steals. This is Liesel first noted instance of her grief.
This changed Liesel in a positive way due to the fact that it was way for her to cope with her grief, help strengthen and build a strong relationship between her and her foster father, which also paves the direction to writing her book “The Book Thief”. Evidence that proves that this event that occured in “The Book Thief” changed the main character, Liesel in a positive way says this,¨Unofficially, it was called the midnight class, even though it commenced at around two in the morning¨. (Zusak). This proves that Hans and Liesel would stay up all night to learn how to read, write, mostly for the pleasure of each other's company, which proves that spending all those times in the basement learning to read and write had brought Liesel and Hans relationship to build and strengthen each other´s
The developmental stage of a young child’s life is very crucial and can be impacted by the media. In The Book Thief by Markus Zusak, Liesel Meminger is a young girl living in a very important part of Germany’s history, the Second World War. Liesel’s childhood unfolds and develops against the backdrop of a time when words, books specifically were used for power and control. Liesel is someone who has a love for reading and, as such, books become very important to her, not only for her education but for her rebellion and discovering her true identity. Throughout the novel, books become a crucial symbol used to convey the desires and discovery of identity for the main character as her childish ignorance changes to her mature adulthood.
Takara Taylor July 18, 2009 AP Literature Essay The Book Thief Haunted By Symbols 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
The author also illustrates the power of language by showing how words can bring comfort and strength. This message is shown through the structure of the novel in chapters, ‘The Whistler’, and, ‘The Dream Carrier’. In these sections of the novel, Liesel understands how she can use words to comfort others. Liesel is able to harness the power of words, and is able to become resilient and strong, doing so is able to support others and those feelings weakened by the control of the Nazi regime. This is evident after Rosa, her foster mother has been fired from working for Ilsa, wife of a Nazi who nurtures Liesel’s literary interests. Liesel understands that words can hurt, however in an act of defiance, Liesel steals the book ‘The Whistler’. This book becomes a symbol of her strength. Liesel strength is made evident whilst in a bomb shelter where she reads to the other citizens of her community to bring comfort to them. ‘She didn’t dare to look up, but she could feel their frightened eyes hanging as
The Book Thief, by Markus Zusak, explores an array of themes, but none more meaningful than the power of language to heal and destroy. Philip K. Dick, a notable author, once said “There exists, for everyone, a sentence - a series of words - that has the power to destroy you. Another sentence exists, another series of words, that could heal you. If you're lucky you will get the second, but you can be certain of getting the first.” The novel follows the life of Liesel Meminger, who learns how much words can influence her life in minuscule and major ways. Learning the alphabet and creating words was one of the first ways that Hans and Liesel bonded. They would sit in the basement for long hours writing words on the wall. The power of words also brought Max and Liesel together. Liesel would describe the weather to him when was trapped in the basement. Hitler used the power words to spread propaganda of racism and hatred. Ultimately, it is Liesel’s words in her journal she leaves behind after the bombing that institutes the emotional connection Death feels to her. Therefore, words have the power to bring people together or divide them apart.