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Copy of The Book Thief

Independent Novel Project

Mamie Myers

on 23 January 2013

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Transcript of Copy of The Book Thief

‘The Book Thief’ is a story telling the tale of Liesel Meminger, a young girl living in a foster home. Liesel’s story starts on the train, seeing her brother die with a half awake mind. They stop in a small town to bury the body and that’s where she steals her first book. Her brother’s death was also the first encounter she had with Death- the narrator of this particular story. Their destination was Munich, for Liesel and her brother to live with foster parents, but her brother died, and his memory was with Liesel every night for months where she would wake screaming. The family lived in the outskirts of Munich, in a small town calling Molching, on Himmel Street. Hans and Rosa Huberman were one of a kind, Rosa with a terrible temper and Hans with warm silver eyes. When Liesel moves in with the Hubermun’s, we start to meet all these new characters through Death and Liesel. Each character living on that street/town has significance even if it’s a small proportion of it. Summary As it was mentioned, the death of Liesel’s brother was the cause of Liesel’s nightmares for a long while but those nightmares were the start of something of major importance in the book. Because of those nightmares, Liesel and Hans became closer and they were almost father and daughter but most importantly, the nightmares were the start of Hans and Liesel’s late-night/early-morning reading classes. Her lessons with Hans and her failure with her reading at school was how Liesel fell in love with words and got them whichever way was possible. Her love for words was the starting point for almost all the other major events in the book. It was because of that, that on the book burning on Hitler’s birthday, she stole a book. On the same day, Liesel starts to know what Nazi Germany is and Hitler becomes her enemy, which is what led her to steal “The Stand over Man”. Her thievery of that book was how 1- Frau Herman (The mayor’s wife) found out about Liesel’s love of books and starts to invite her to read in her library and that is almost as if Liesel helped her get through the depression she was in. 2- Hans Huberman figured about Liesel’s love for books and her thievery. I believe it is also how he got the idea of using a book to aid a Jew on his journey to his house safely to be hidden. Here’s the coming of another big event. Max Vandenburg is the Jew that Hans hides in his basement and as it is known, hiding or knowing a Jew in Nazi Germany is one of the things that could get you in the worst kind of trouble. Max’s arrival shows us a new side of Rosa. Instead of her temperamental self, we see the caring and protective Rosa. Max is than a permanent member of the Huberman household and it stay that way for a while. At first, Liesel is fascinated by him but it takes her a while before she gathers the courage to talk to him, and when she does, they soon became friends, really good friends. Max, the Jew, who learned how to sleep by barely moving, who also taught Liesel the gift of sharing words and not just by reading them. He wrote her a story about the power of words. This story showed his love and care towards her. In preparing this story, we also see the love and respect and support that Hans and Rosa held for Max and the words he believed in. The Jesse Owens incident is Rudy Steiner’s way of living his dream. Jesse Owens was an Olympic champion, but he was also a black Olympian. This incident consisted of Rudy talking coal and coloring himself black from head to toe including the inside of his ears. It was at night when almost everyone was sleeping, and Rudy simply walks out of his house and starts running and cheering himself on. A bunch of neighbors come out and see him run and cheer himself on and finally wins, but that’s not what matters. What matters is, that in Nazi Germany, where racism was basically the law, a young boy shows us how equality is what matters despite of the world he lives in. Death – The narrator- has a way of telling us what will happen in the end while we’re still reading the beginning and the end of “The book Thief” ended in the most tragic way possible, everyone dies. The sirens go off a little too late and no one hears them, which basically means, that Himmel street is bombed without any warning. Liesel is busy finished her story in the basement and Max is in a concentration camp, and Rudy’s father is at war. When everyone dies, these three survive, of course people in Munich don’t die, and Ilsa Herman looks for Liesel and starts taking care of her. The very end of this book is when Death goes to collect Liesel’s old soul. Title Significance Setting/Genre Characters Major Change Quotes Human Nature Truths Opposite Words Controversial Issue Symbols/Allusions Open-Ended Question ‘The Book Thief’ has a few meanings, especially to readers of this book. The obvious meaning is that it’s about someone who steals books, and when we know it’s a girl than it’s about a girl who a book thief, literally, but –in the end – it’s more than that. It’s more the way she grows and learns than about book thievery. When we start reading the book, ‘The Book Thief’ is Death’s description of the girl, why, we might ask but it’s because her very first act in the book is to steal a book, but it wasn’t because she stole a book, it’s because at The Book Thief signifies Death’s amazement at this one girl’s ability to be strong and live through the words of books, and her determination and strength throughout the book. Then, it signified Liesel herself, and what she learns through the books she stole. It shows us the every book could have a meaning and make a difference. It also showed us Liesel’s ability to take a stolen book and make it something calming and soothing to a group of frightened people. The Book Thief, stand for a girl who steals books that are unsought or uncared for and turn them into books with so much magnificence that it takes your breath away. Finally, ‘The Book Thief’ is the name of the book that saved Liesel’s life. It was the name of Liesel’s book that she was finished in the basement while everyone slept, and if it weren’t for this particular book, she would’ve died, alongside the whole town. With this story, we are taken everywhere. Different times into different locations but it mostly follows Liesel, from the day that she went to the Hubermann’s on Himmel street to the day Himmel street was bombed four years later. The locations in the book are important each in its own way. First, we have the Hubermann's house, where Liesel lives and begins her life and for the first time in her life has friends and a real family (with a dad and a mom). The Hubermann’s basement is where she forges her friendship with Max and where Max hides and the basement is where she learns how to read and write, and it is also where she wrote her story, just like Max was in the basement when he wrote her the stories. The Hubermann’s basement wasn’t the only place of importance. The Fielders basement was the basement that the townsfolk of Himmel Street would seek shelter if a bomb siren is let off. In that basement is where Liesel found out that she could comfort that terrified people by reading from her books. Himmel Street isn’t the only place of importance. Munich was also an extremely important place in the story. Munich was the place where you could say, Hitler started off. The author made it the place where Hans Huberman should a poor Jew an act of kindness and compassion by giving him a piece of bread and finally being made to go to war. Munich street was also where Liesel sees Max when he is made to march to the concentration camp, and it is also the place where Rudy was beaten by Franz Deutscher, the sadistic Hitler Youth leader. This book was so thought provoking and in a way educational in a way fiction books aren’t usually. It took us to different locations with each having a different story and different characters. Some of these locations are Stuttgart (Max’s home), Poland, Cologne, Stalingrad and France (Max’s father saves Hans during WWI). Sometimes, or I guess most of the times, these little trips to the past are what made the story more interesting to the reader. I would think that if the author chose a different time and place the story won’t have such a powerful effect on the reader. I also think he chose WWII as his time period was because it was such a terrible and bloody war, and seeing as Death is the narrator, one would think it is an obvious answer since Death collects souls. Character Name: Hans Huberman

-Evidence: “After a few minutes, a very tall man came out. Hans Hubermann” – Pg.22
“Liesel observed the strangeness of her foster father’s eyes. They were made of kindness and silver. Like soft silver, melting” – Pg.26
-Inference: From this, you could tell that this is a start of a loving relationship between Hans and Liesel. He will become a father to her and not just a “foster father”.
-Evidence: “To tell you the truth,” Papa explained upfront, “I am not such a good reader myself.” – Pg.45
-Inference: Hans will do his best and in the end, that’s what matters to Liesel. He taught her how to read with love.
Thoughts/Feelings (Comments by the Character)
-Evidence: “Hans was clearly worried that he was on the verge of frightening her too much, but he calculated the risk, preferring to err on the side of too much fear rather than not enough.” – Pg. 137
-Inference: Something of great importance is going on and Hans needs to make sure that Liesel knows this.
Motives (Implied from the character’s behavior and speech)
-Evidence: “If I ever ask you to keep a secret for me, you will do it.” – Pg. 89
-Inference: I can tell that Hans has something in mind when he told Liesel this. He needed to know that the girl would be willing to keep it before which ever it was came.
Actions (Concrete behavior of the character)
-Evidence: “The Jew stood before him, expecting another handful of derision, but he watched with everyone else as Hans Hubermann held his hand out and presented a piece of bread, like magic.” – Pg.278
-Inference: Nazi Germany isn’t a place where Hans could do this and get away with it. When he gave the bread to the Jew, I knew that this wouldn’t go by unpunished, and he would suffer the consequences and so would his family.
Affect on other Characters (quotes/ Responses from other characters)
-Evidence: “You wouldn’t think it, she wrote, but it was not so much the school who helped me to read. It was Papa. People think he’s not so smart, and it’s true that he doesn’t read too fast, but I would soon learn that words and writing actually saved his life once. Or at least, words and a man who taught him the accordion . . . “– Pg.45
-Inference: This is just what eyes made from kindness means. That no matter how unimportant of a person Hans is to society, he changed a girl’s life with words. Liesel’s life changed the day he taught her how to read by giving her hope and handing her the words, and I can get from this is that she will take care to use the words wisely. Character Name: Liesel Meminger

-Evidence: “Her hair was a close enough brand of German blond, but she had dangerous eyes. Dark Brown.” – Pg. 24
“Everything about her was undernourished. Wire like shins. Coat hanger arms.” – Pg. 24
-Inference: “Dangerous eyes” From those two words I could already tell that Liesel is a sort of trouble-maker, and that she would wreak havoc only at this part I still wouldn’t know what kind it will be, as for the other I could tell that she is and always will be under-fed. Something about the way it’s said implies that she’ll always be undernourished.
-Evidence: ““I have hated the words and I have loved them, and I hope I have made them right.” – Pg. 371
-Inference: Proves how words can be protectors and killers. I can tell that this is used to tell us that Liesel wasn’t always the sweet young girl but she knew the power of words and used them or heard them and felt their power.
Thoughts/Feelings (Comments by the Character)
-Evidence: “She wept over the shoulder of Hans Hubermann. ’Goodbye, Papa, you saved me. You taught me to read. No one can play like you. I’ll never drink champagne. No one can play like you.” – Pg.377
-Inference: The grief of a young girl about her dead father. The accordion and the Champaign were things that she will always associate with her father, and his memory will never be forgotten in her mind.
Motives (Implied from the character’s behavior and speech)
-Evidence: “She could not see properly and moved to get a better view.” – Pg. 312
-Inference: Her loyalty towards Max never wavered, and even though she had a slight feeling that it would get her in trouble, she still looked for him in the mass of Jews. It was brave of her to try to find him.
Actions (Concrete behavior of the character)
-Evidence: “She turned as she had once before and marched back to 8 Grande Strasse. The temptation to run was immense, but she refrained so that she’d have enough in reserve for the words.” – Pg. 185
-Inference: The emotion in her where on fire, and she will spit daggers at the receiver of them. She needed an out, someone to be angry with and she did.
Affect on other Characters (quotes/ Responses from other characters)
-Evidence: “Now I think we are friends, this girl and me. On her birthday. It was she who gave a gift - To me.” Max – pg.167
-Inference: Her kindness towards the semi-stranger at the time is astonishing. This is the start of a loving friendship. Anyone would be able to know that. Character Name: Death

-Evidence: “I do not carry a sickle or scythe. I only wear a hooded black robe when it’s cold. And I don’t have those skull-like facial features you seem to enjoy pinning on me from a distance. “ – Pg.218
-Inference: Death isn’t what our imagination pulls out; Death is more human-looking and is a cynical, humorous being.
-Evidence: “I can promise you that the world is a factory. The sun stirs it, the humans rule it. And I remain. I carry them away.” – Pg. 380
-Inference: Death’s thought on how the world goes is interesting. It makes you a believer.
Thoughts/Feelings (Comments by the Character)
-Evidence: “I am haunted by humans.” – Pg. 385
-Inference: Somehow this tells me that Death feels what humans go through and wishes and hopes as well but It makes me feel sad for him that he has no escape.
Motives (Implied from the character’s behavior and speech)
-Evidence: “I wanted to tell the book thief many things.” – Pg. 384
-Inference: I knew that Death admired ‘The Book Thief’ and she was to him what a great author is to us book worms.
Actions (Concrete behavior of the character)
-Evidence: “I walked in, loosened his soul, and carried it gently away.” – Pg. 11
-Inference: Death isn’t harsh. He feels. Always did. He treats his souls kindly, and takes care of them.
Affect on other Characters (quotes/ Responses from other characters)
-Evidence: “The old woman was astonished. She took it in her hand and said, “Is this really it?”” – Pg. 384
-Inference: She dies. Death gave her a gift. A gift that would give her a happy ending after death. The book that saved her life. Character Name: Rudy Steiner

-Evidence: “had bony legs, sharp teeth, gangly blue eyes, and hair the color of a lemon” – Pg. 35
“You’ve got beautiful blond hair and big, safe blue eyes. You should be happy with that; is that clear?” – Pg. 43
-Inference: The perfect German, in Nazi Germany’s mind. An average boy that would do beyond average miracles.
-Evidence: “How about a kiss, Saumensch?” – Pg. 172
-Inference: This was Rudy’s catch-phrase I guess. This was also his hope and my hope but in the end he got it. Just not in the condition he wanted it.
Thoughts/Feelings (Comments by the Character)
-Evidence: “I just wish I was like Jesse Owens, Papa.” – Pg. 43
-Inference: Rudy’s unconcern for who he is idolizing can tell us that further in the story he will make changes in the world.
Motives (Implied from the character’s behavior and speech)
-Evidence: “He never did explain it to Liesel, but I think she knew very well that the reasons were twofold .” – Pg. 216
-Inference: As kind as Rudy was, he was also a guy, and all this guy wanted was a kiss from his best friend and that was his incentives for almost everything that he did for her.
Actions (Concrete behavior of the character)
-Evidence: “He placed the smiling teddy bear cautiously onto the pilot’s shoulder.” – Pg.348
-Inference: Always kind Rudy. Once a thief and later a savior. Who would’ve known.
Affect on other Characters (quotes/ Responses from other characters)
-Evidence: “Perhaps it was the sudden bumpiness of love she felt for him. Or had she always loved him? It’s likely. Restricted as she was from speaking, she wanted him to kiss her. She wanted him to drag her hand across and pull her over. It didn’t matter where. Her mouth, her neck, her cheek. Her skin was empty for it, waiting.” – Pg. 364
-Inference: The thing that Rudy and Liesel went through isn’t a life that can be forgotten, and I believe that if Rudy didn’t die. They would have gotten married in the end. Rudy was just a boy when he died but he was more of a man than Hitler will ever be. At the start of the novel, Death tells us how Hans Hubermann is a kind man, who is just there. Not visible enough to notice and lacks a flare, but us the storyline advances, we see a man that is courageous, compassionate and honest. His very first act of kindness, although not intentional was to promise a friend’s widow that if she needs anything, all she has to do is to ask/call. Since it was Nazi Germany, everyone knows that when slurs are painted on Jewish doors and storefronts, one shouldn’t paint over them, but that’s exactly what Hans did. He painted over the slurs that were painted over a former customer’s door, but that was a mistake he shouldn’t have done. The friend’s widow who he promised finally took the offer that Hans gave her and she asked for help, or her son did. He took in a Jewish young man in his house and cared for him. He risked his life and his family’s life for the Jewish man. Needless to say, he didn’t get caught but the second mistake he did was offer bread to the marching Jews, and actually did get caught by the soldiers while handing the bread. Finally, and this was the kindest act, he took care and loved, the young little Liesel. If it weren’t for her, he wouldn’t have been able to find a way to help Max – the Jew. Liesel is the one who, in my personal opinion, he tried to be a role model to. He made her feel safe and wanted, not to mention loved. Moving onto Liesel Meminger, whose life we followed since the start of the book. Liesel’s life changed the second she stepped into Molching. She found love and friends and, for the first time, she had a home. As she grew to love the Hubermann’s, she started to adopt some traits from them, especially from Hans, her foster father. From an undernourished girl who had nothing, she turned to a girl who was still hungry but belonged. When she first came to Molching, she was illiterate and friendless, and before we knew it, she had friends all over the town, not to mention she was a reader and a writer. She read to the scared people in a bomb shelter, she read to a mother who lost her son, and she read to a sick friend in bed. She passed out bread and she helped her friend. We would never have known that Liesel help change their lives in chapter one, and now, she changed her life and all the lives of those who surrounded her. Then comes Max, his guilt of leaving his family never quite left him and throughout the story we get to know why. I mean, who would forgive themselves if they left their family to starve or to whatever while they hid. He thought himself a coward. Max is like Liesel, in a way. He came to the Hubermann’s after he suffered for long. He had nightmares at night and with Liesel, she helped him smile. They were each other’s mountain. In the beginning he felt sorry for himself but after he had to leave the Hubermann’s and was caught and sent to Dachau concentration camp, he became protective of Liesel. He gave her the gift of words, and he was there for her, and I believe he will always be there for her. Rudy Steiner, The boy with hair the color of lemons. He was the boy who gave teddy bears to dying pilots, who swam in freezing rivers to impress a girl, and also the boy who did everything out of innocence and kindness. Strength and courage is what he is. He was a dreamer at first, and as his journeys throughout Molching with Liesel, he became a believer. He, at first, was the fruit stealer and later became the bread giver, even though he was starving. I think he changed by growing up. He changed into a boy who stands up for what he believes in and fights for it, even if it means getting beaten. 1-Children are not biased. They don’t care about one’s color or religion.
There is than just one event that exemplifies the above. In one instance known as the “”The Jesse Owens Incident”, Rudy Meminger paints himself all black as a tribute to the 1936 Olympic winner Jesse Owens. Problem with that is that Jesse Owens was a black man, and in Nazi Germany you did not want to be anything but white. Later, Rudy goes out of the house and runs while pretending to be the famous Jesse, and when his dad finally finds him, all Rudy says is that he wants to be like his idol. No matter how his father tries to make him understand that in Germany it’s dangerous to be anything different. Rudy’s indifference to what color is his hero is.
Another event or relationship between two people, who shouldn’t have been friends, is Max and Liesel. Max is a Jew in hiding in Liesel’s family basement. His stay there had its rough times but Liesel was always there for him, in any way she can. While Max tried to do the same towards Liesel. She tried her best to make sure Max is as happy as he could be. Max and Liesel’s relationship signifies the truth of a friendship that isn’t based on anything but common likes. 2-Humans can adjust to everything – when the have to.
Max is probably the best examples for this. Max used to live in a house, on a bed. He used to be the typical boy, with not much money but he used to love fights. As he grew up, and life as a Jew became too dangerous, he had to hide. In that storage, he learned how to barely sleep and day by day, he became hungrier, but he knew how to handle his hunger. He learned how to be a ghost. He made sure that his breathe can’t be heard and when he walks, he makes no sound, and when he went to live in the Hubermann’s basement, he learned how to spend his time. He adjusted. 3- Humans will try to hurt each other in any way possible.
In the book, there are several ways of suffering and hurt going on. When Rudy and Liesel cross paths with Viktor Chemmel, they immediately know they’ll regret it. Viktor upon seeing them, decided the way to hurt Rudy is by taking something from Liesel, So , he took the book and threw it in the Amper River, as revenge. He did that because he sensed that Liesel is in love with words and it’s a way to hurt her.
Another time is when Frau Hermann, tells Liesel that they could no longer afford to keep Rosa hired, and gives her a book. Liesel starts throwing words at her, reminding her of her dead son, and her pathetic life style. Although there is more, but I mentioned emotional, and verbal hurt., now for the Physical kind. It was when Hans Hubermann was giving bread to the marching Jews, and when he got caught alongside the Jew who ate the bread. They were whipped until their backs were soaked from blood. Love
1. Character Speeches
- “Dear Mama, Can you ever forgive me? I just couldn’t stand it any longer. I’m meeting Robert. I don’t care what the damn Catholics say about it. There must be a place in heaven for those who have been where I have been. You might think I don’t love you because of what I’ve done, but I do. Your Michael” – Pg. 355
2. Actions
- “He came in every night and sat with her. The first couple of times, he simply stayed—a stranger to kill the aloneness. A few nights after that, he whispered, “Shhh, I’m here, it’s all right.” After three weeks, he held her. Trust was accumulated quickly, due primarily to the brute strength of the man’s gentleness, his thereness. The girl knew from the outset that Hans Hubermann would always appear midscream, and he would not leave.” – Pg. 28
3. Plot Development
- “His pants clung to him, and he did not stop walking. In truth, I think he was afraid. Rudy Steiner was scared of the book thief’s kiss. He must have longed for it so much. He must have loved her so incredibly hard. So hard that he would never ask for her lips again and would go to his grave without them.” – Pg. 216
4. Point of View
- “Hans, and Rosa I cannot account for, but I know that Liesel Meminger was thinking that if the bombs ever landed on Himmel Street, not only did Max have less chance of survival than everyone else, but he would die completely alone.” – Pg. 271
5. Narrator/End
- “I wanted to tell the book thief many things, about beauty and brutality. But what could I tell her about those things that she didn’t already know? I wanted to explain that I am constantly overestimating and underestimating the human race—that rarely do I ever simply estimate it. I wanted to ask her how the same thing could be so ugly and so glorious, and its words and stories so damning and brilliant.” – Pg. 384 Hate
1.Character Speeches
-“I knew it.” The words were thrown at the steps and Liesel could feel the slush of a stirring hotly in her stomach. “I hate the Führer,” she said. “I hate him.” – Pg. 80
-The economical sentence was directed not to the girl but the Jew. It was elaborated on. “Get up, you dirty asshole, you Jewish whore-dog, get up, get up. . . .” – Pg. 361
3.Plot Development
-“She did not have time, for Viktor Chemmel was on top of Rudy before she could utter a word. His knees had pinned Rudy’s arms and his hands were around his throat. The apples were scooped up by none other than Andy Schmeikl, at Viktor’s request.” – Pg. 195
4.Point of View
-“That damn snowman,” she whispered. “I bet it started with the snowman—fooling around with ice and snow in the cold down there.” Papa was more philosophical. “Rosa, it started with Adolf.” – Pg. 223
-“She had seen her brother die with one eye open, one still in a dream. She had said goodbye to her mother and imagined her lonely wait for a train back home to oblivion. A woman of wire had laid herself down, her scream traveling the street, till it fell sideways like a rolling coin starved of momentum. A young man was hung by a rope made of Stalingrad snow. She had watched a bomber pilot die in a metal case...” – Pg. 366 1. “I am all bluster I am not violent. I am not malicious. I am a result.” – Pg.9
- I like this one because it defines what death really is. Most people are scared of dying and therefore scared of death, but this tells us that Death has nothing to do with taking the human lives; Death is the result of what humans caused. 2. “Trust me, though, the words were on their way, and when they arrived, Liesel would hold them in her hands like the clouds, and she would wring them out like the rain.” – Pg.57
- This quote I liked because it tells us the power of words and how comforting they can be. It told me how words saved the girl, and I admire that. I think it’s one of the best things one could ever say. 3. "That was their last meeting. A final package was left in the corner, and this time, there was a ticket. Walter opened Mein Kampf and slid it inside, next to the map he’d brought with the book itself. “Page thirteen.” He smiled. “For luck, yes?” –Pg.110
- The irony in this quote I found interesting. How, in order for a Jew to escape from death, the book of the “enemy” is used to save him. Not only that but also the number thirteen, which is usually associated with bad luck is considered for them a number of luck. But thing is, The Jew’s luck didn’t stay with him for long. 4. “When death captures me,” the boy vowed, “he will feel my fist on his face.” – Pg.131
- The ferocity of the boy and his innocence. His determination to fight, and how he hopes to win, makes me wish that maybe, we need more of that during the 21stgeneration. Maybe, just maybe if everyone cared about fighting death they won’t be rushing towards it. 5.“Where Hans Hubermann and Erik Vandenburg were ultimately united by music, Max and Liesel were held together by the quiet gathering of words.” – Pg. 176
-Father and father. Daughter and son. They wouldn’t have met if Eric lived and Liesel wouldn’t have been there if Hans died. Music and words aren’t so different; they just use a different body but some emotions. I love this quote. I think it’s amazing how it’s always the Jew and the, well, not Jew that the friendship is at its peak. 6. “You roll and watch it coming, realizing completely that this is no regular die. You claim it to be bad luck, but you’ve known all along that it had to come. You brought it into the room. The table could smell it on your breath. The Jew was sticking out of your pocket from the outset. He’s smeared to your lapel, and the moment you roll, you know it’s a seven the one thing that somehow finds a way to hurt you. It lands. It stares you in each eye, miraculous and loathsome, and you turn away with it feeding on your chest. Just bad luck.” - Pg. 183
- I like this quote because other than the fact that it’s obviously about how the family’s decision in taking Max in, is bad luck but because it has truth in it. That once we do that one huge decision, and if it’s something that is terribly bad, what follows is always going to be bad luck. Like what they say that, bad things happen in threes. 7.“When Liesel and Rudy made it through and helped Hans to his feet, there were so many voices. Words and sunlight. That’s how she remembered it. The light sparkling on the road and the words like waves, breaking on her back. Only as they walked away did they notice the bread sitting rejected on the street.” - Pg. 279
-I loved this quote because love is in the air during that part of the book. Hans effort to help the hungry Jews and not being able to stay hidden. How Rudy and Liesel helped him and in the end. It shows that in life that no matter how hard you try to be fair and just, you don’t always get what you want, and that’s what I think this quote symbolizes especially with the end of it. 8. “She was saying goodbye and she didn’t even know it.” – Pg. 364
- This quote shows that in life, you almost never know when you’re actually saying good-bye to someone. When the end is near and you just never know it, and that’s why I chose this quote. 9.“At first, Liesel could not talk. Perhaps it was the sudden bumpiness of love she felt for him or had she always loved him? It’s likely. Restricted as she was from speaking, she wanted him to kiss her. She wanted him to drag her hand across and pull her over. It didn’t matter where. Her mouth, her neck, her cheek. Her skin was empty for it, waiting.” – Pg.364
-Rudy and Liesel been through a lot. At first, she rejected Rudy’s attempt at being with her, but one sudden act of kindness, one brave move, made him appear in her eyes as the one that she wanted to be with. I chose this quote because it was sad. It’s sad how this is how their relationship would end. One would remain alive and the other dead. 10.“I wanted to tell the book thief many things, about beauty and brutality. But what could I tell her about those things that she didn’t already know? I wanted to explain that I am constantly overestimating and underestimating the human race—that rarely do I ever simply estimate it. I wanted to ask her how the same thing could be so ugly and so glorious, and its words and stories so damning and brilliant.” – Pg.384
-I love this quote. Why? Because it’s obvious. This quote is what Death thinks of the human race. How he believes in the words and life. The irony is how we see that Death sees beauty and love. Theme Sentence “A LAST NOTE FROM YOUR NARRATOR
I am haunted by humans.” – Pg. 384 Although Death focuses on Liesel, he also talks about the other characters. No matter how insignificant they are. As he tells us their stories, we realize that Death can’t escape from humans. We, as humans, live our lives thinking that Death is haunting us, that no matter what we do he’s there, but it is actually the opposite. Humans are the ones who haunt Death. Some don’t mean to, but a lot lose themselves to Death, and force their lives into his. In Nazi Germany, we all know it as the Holocaust. Hans Hubermann is a nice, kind man who happens to also be courageous. After he survives in World War I, and all of the soldiers he was with die, he feels as if he owes his life to Erik Vandenburg. He believes that if Erik didn’t volunteer Hans, Hans would have died. Now, Erik was a Jew and taught Hans how to play the accordion. He told Hans that he has a wife and Hans felt that he should repay him by offering his services to help his wife. There, Hans meets young Max, who is just a toddler at the time. As the years go by, and Hitler takes wins power, and the holocaust begins, the Jews are driven out and quite frankly, it became difficult to be one. This is where the “controversial issue” starts. Max is in need of a safe shelter, and the only one he knows that would be willing to help is Hans. Hans makes the decision to hide Max in the basement. The question is whether it was the right decision that is worth the risks or was it a decision that would end up killing them. I believe that Hans made a good decision by hiding Max in the basement. Hans wasn’t a Hitler follower; on the contrary, he was against Hitler’s beliefs and ways of treating the people. I think that the world needs more people like Hans, because the fact that even though hiding Max would’ve gotten him in way too much problems with the law, he chose to do it because it was the right thing. He gave Max a home and a family. Max, who had nothing to lose, now had a whole family risking their lives for him. By helping Max, he taught Liesel how to do what she believes in and not what others force her to do. Hans Hubermann, in my opinion, saved a life when he hid Max. In The Book Thief, there were a few obvious symbols and others not so much. One is the accordion that Hans plays. In the start, the accordion was something that Hans used to comfort Liesel, and distract her. It was a symbol of trust between them and, not only that, it was also a sign of trust for Hans as well. The accordion to Hans symbolized his link to the person who gave him the accordion, Max’s father. It became a reminder to him and to Max; it became the symbol of hope. His father’s accordion was how Max knew that Hans was a good man, and it gave him hope to think that maybe, he’ll survive what he’s going through. Another symbol is soccer. The sport that the children of Himmel Street play in order to distract themselves from hunger and, any other problems that might be going on. It is a symbol of friendship and, a way of bonding. All the kids that our on the make-shift soccer field suffer from one thing or another, and the soccer ball was their way of being kids. Some of the allusions in this book are descriptive. When the author describes Rudy as the boy with the lemon colored hair, it basically means that Rudy looks like what Nazi Germany would consider the ideal person. Another instance is when Liesel says that Max’s hair is like feathers, and before she described it as twigs of hair, that shows us that Max had it hard. That he could afford to clean up and be hygienic and when he moved in with the Hubermann’s his life changed drastically. Other times, is when Liesel says that she sometimes thinks that Hans is an accordion, because of the accordions calming effect on both of them, she sees her father as the object that gives relief and hope. “Many works of literature deal with political or social issues. Write an essay in which you analyze how the author explores this issue and explain how the issue contributes to the meaning of the work as a whole. Do not merely summarize the plot” “The Book Thief” explored the issue of racism in Nazi Germany and in a way also, told us about the different social classes around. We viewed the class of the poor who are living in poor town, Molching, in Germany. We saw how the poor were being soldiers treated by the soldiers and how their lives were tougher than the rest. Food was scarce for them, it was there but not enough of it was given and they couldn’t afford anything luxurious. As for the racism issue, we all know how Hitler was an anti-Jew and he (Hitler) made it seem as if, the Jews were a bad disease that needed the right antidote to get rid of. We saw how much the Jews suffered and were treated miserably just for existing and breathing. I’ll start by analyzing the social issues. Markus Zusak used Death and Liesel to tell us the story and Liesel was never rich. She always suffered from lack of food and lack of comfort but when she lived with the Hubermann’s, Zusak showed us how money couldn’t be the base of life because most of the families that lived in the poor town of Molching, were happier than those who lived in Munich and were rich. The mayor’s wife – who lived a comfortable life – was shown to us a miserable, sad woman who we saw as, even though she was married, was pretty alone and lonely. Not only that, but the fact that when Arthur Berg and the gang stole the fruits was because they were hungry and wanted something to enjoy for themselves for once, Arthur Berg was a thief who was poor and cared about people. He would go back for those who are left behind but his successor, Viktor Chemmel, who was rich and stole for the sake of stealing, was in a way, Arthur Berg’s foil. The social issues showed us the aspects that we never did get a good glimpse at. It helped to give some of the events a dramatic turn. The second issue would be the political issue. Since “The Book Thief” is based on before, while, and after World War II, we know that Hitler would make an appearance, and he did. Racism is what I’ll talk about. During the Holocaust over six million Jews were killed, and as important as that is, we don’t really read or learn about that number in the book. We see the racism when the Jews are forced to march through Munich to go to the camp and are beaten when they accept the bread pieces that Hans offers them. We see the cruelty in which they whip a child for the same mistake that Hans did, and it was offer the pieces of bread to the marching hungry Jews, who some are too old to be treated in that awful way. One would think that only the Jews that got caught or weren’t really part of the society that suffered but two families in their neighborhood were objected to humiliation and degradation. One example is the Kaufmann shoe shop, which was reduced to broken glass and thrown shoes although he was friends with a whole bunch of people in town. The second example was Joel Kleinmann, who owned a clothing store in Molching. He had three little children and Hans painted his door the year before, but the fact that he was a nice fellow from town and that he had children didn’t stop the citizens from terrorizing him and painting his door with the words Jewish filth in yellow the color of mustard. This increased the significance of the story. It helped show us how cruelty really exists in this world. Although this book is a fictional novel, it has events that did happen in the non-fictional version of the holocaust. Character Name: Max Vandenburg

- Evidence: “His hair is like feathers.” – Pg. 150
“He was skinny, with soft hair, and his thick, murky eyes” – Pg. 124
“Beige-colored skin. A swamp in each eye. And he breathed like a fugitive. Desperate yet soundless” – Pg. 176
- Inference: He was a fairly handsome guy but with the hard life he had, it took its toll on him, and he trained himself to be careful at all times, even while sleeping. Him having a hard life makes me feel as if his hard life isn’t over just yet, or more like it just started.
- Evidence: “But I dream this when I’m awake.” He motioned to the glow less kerosene lamp. “Sometimes I turn out the light. Then I stand here and wait.” – Pg.181
- Inference: A guy who dreams nightmares while sleeping and hopes while he’s awake is a guy to be admired. He turns his fortune around when he wakes all in the basement of a poor house. He starts to have a new family.
Thoughts/Feelings (Comments by the Character)
- Evidence: “If only he’d turned for one last look at his family as he left the apartment. Perhaps then the guilt would not have been so heavy. No final goodbye.” – Pg. 134
- Inference: I know from this that he’ll never be able to forgive himself for leaving them and he will always blame himself for surviving and not losing everything like his family did.
Motives (Implied from the character’s behavior and speech)
- Evidence: “He resolved at that moment to give her something back.” – Pg.154
- Inference: A guy who has nothing and gives a girl a present in return, keeps you interested in what he will give her and you know immediately that what he gave her was something so meaningful and inexpensive, but meant the world to her.
Actions (Concrete behavior of the character)
- Evidence: “Max Vandenburg prepared the pages of The Word Shaker.” – Pg. 183
- Inference: In this part of the book, you start seeing how the family and the Jew became one family, and it wasn’t about hiding the Jew anymore. It was taking care of him and making sure he is as happy as one can get. When he was preparing the pages we could all tell that it will be so thought-provoking and enticing.
Affect on other Characters (quotes/ Responses from other characters)
- Evidence: “In the outside world, Liesel rushed from school each day in the hope that Max was feeling better.” – Pg. 225
- Inference: He made the girl fall in love with him (in a non-romantic way). Him and his words became her best friends. This told us there is more to the girl and it made me hope that in the end, they will end up together. Rana Makki
English 12
Mrs. Raheela
Full transcript