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The Book Thief
Transcript of The Book Thief
Death: Narrator of the book
Liesel Meminger: (protagonist, round, dynamic) Main character of the novel, nicknamed by death as "The Book Thief."
Paula Meminger: (flat) Liesel's birth mother, gives her and her brother away for adoption.
Werner Meminger: (flat) Liesel's younger brother, dies on the train to the foster parents.
Hans Hubermann: (round) Liesel's foster father, develops a very close bond with Liesel.
Rosa Hubermann: (round) Liesel's foster mother, very strict but deep down she really cares for Liesel.
Rudy Steiner: (round, dynamic) Liesel's bestfriend, has a large family, in love with Liesel.
Erik Vandenburg: (flat) Old friend of Hans, gave up his life for Hans during the war, Hans owes him.
Max Vandenburg: (flat) Erik's son, jewish, hides from the nazi's in the Hubermanns basement, very close bond with Liesel.
Ilsa Hermann: (flat) Mayors wife, let's Liesel borrow books from her library, had a son that froze to death.
The novel takes place in Germany in the fictional town called Molching which is near the actual town called Munich. The book takes place during World War II. The place and time period of the book is key to the plot because of Hitler's control over Germany at that time. The book is centered around ideas of rebellion against Hitler and the Nazi's, which were prominent during World War II.
Point of View
The “Book Thief” by Markus Zusak is written in third-person omniscient. The perspectives mainly switch between Liesel Meminger, a young girl who lives through the tragedy of World War Two, and the Spirit of Death, who observes humanity and gives commentary on their brutality. This style of writing was chosen because when things happen in the book, Death can be given a chapter to give his thoughts on current events. It offers a fresh perspective from an outside source. Death can observe humanity from a different point of view, and talk about them subjectively. When Liesel is the one in focus, she offers an opinion based on that of a child. These two were chosen because they both offer a unique perspective on the events in the story.
Significance of Tone and Mood
The Tone of The Book thief is Hopeful. Death, the narrator, feels a light sense of hope throughout the book as if to convince himself that the human race is worth it as a whole.
The mood of the book is depressing and despair. Although some certain parts of the book carry a lighter mood, The Book thief has death around every corner and Liesel is constantly faced with a problem or issue.
Strengths and Weaknesses
This story shows how a person can live, persevere, and grow up in Nazi Germany. Liesel, at the end of the story, moved to the US has children and grand children. She never forgets the friends and family that she lost during WW2. She was still able to find happiness.
The book starts off, on a train. Liesel with her mother and brother. Liesel watches her bother die. (We think it was a stroke or heart attack.) She steals her first book at her brother's burial, "The Grave Digger's Handbook." Liesel meets her new family and friend, Rudy. Liesel continues to grow up in Molching. Liesel also continues to learn how to read and write with Hans. Her family takes in a Jew named Max and hides him from the Nazi's. As WW2 goes on, times get tough and Liesel and Rudy have to go and steal food and anything they don't have. Max leaves and is captured by the Nazis. Finally there is a bombing raid on the city and everyone dies, except Liesel, because she was in the basement writing.
The main theme throughout the story is courage and war, as the book is in the middle of WWII and the Holocaust. War is very present and known throughout, especially when Liesel’s best-friend, Rudy Steiner, was almost drafted into the army. He was very athletic and intelligent and would have been a great asset, but instead his father took his place. During the story of the Book Thief, the Hubermanns took Max, a Jewish fist-fighter, into their home and hid him in their basement from the Nazi. This bodacious act required tremendous courage.
Overall, our group gave the book a 3.5 out of 5.
We think it deserves this rating because the
book was very interesting, and the author made
the book seem very realistic while also making it
seem unrealistic because of the science fictional
elements of the book, such as the personification of Death. Mark Zusak gave Death human-like emotions and made him extremely compassionate which is unique from most other depictions of death. Although we liked the book, it was also confusing at points. The narrators of the book switched around sometimes and the book jumped around without specifically saying so. This was very confusing and made the book difficult to follow.