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The Book Thief: Character and Theme Analysis

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Lindsey Weiss

on 10 March 2014

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Transcript of The Book Thief: Character and Theme Analysis

The Book Thief: Character and Theme Analysis
Courage is what gave Liesel the will to do incredible things. It was what gave her the chance to meet Rosa and Hans and take that chance that everything would turn out alright.
When she stole books and food from others her bravery and will to take that risk along with taking back what was righfully hers. Courage let Liesel kiss Rudy on the cheek and let her stand up against the German soldiers and talk to Max.
Quotes Explaining Liesel
Stealing- Stealing is what brought Liesel her first book right when her brother died- The Grave Diggers Handbook. It was kept her from starving and what kept Max company. It is even what kept everyone calm during the air raids.
Some Things To Know About Liesel Meminger
Liesel Meminger is a 14 year old girl who has experienced more than some people will in a lifetime. Her brother died and she lost her mom. She recieved new parents and was put into a whole new world.
You Never Know What's Good Until It's Gone.
By: Lindsey Weiss
Liesel is important to this story because without her nothing would have taken place. She is the reason for everything that had happened to her. The power of words is what compelled her to write her own story and save her life.
She is a shy girl who doesn't have very
many friends besides Rudy. Liesel has a way with words and its almost how she copes with everything that has happened to her.
I picked this one because it perfectly depicts how Liesel lived during the war. Without words and the power of books she wouldn't have made her own story or compelled her to go against what everyone thought.
Liesel and Rudy's desire to steal was to take back all the things that they have already lost in their lives. It's a way for Liesel to get back at Hitler for stealing her parents.
The power of words is what compells Liesel to stand up for herself and defy the soldiers to get to Max.
She almost has a love hate relationship with words. They could either have a negative or positive affect of her. Words could either tear her down or bring happiness to her somewhat unfortunate life.
"I have hated the words and I have loved them, and I hope I have made them right."
the last line written by Liesel Meminger in her novel "The Book Thief," p. 528
The book thief had struck for the first time – the beginning of an illustrious career. pg. 29
Liesel in this story has experienced more devastation and trauma than anyone in a lifetime. When she was really young she lost her brother on a train and had her mother sent away because she was a communist.
This also strengths Liesel as a person and makes her who she is today. Her loss has brought her to a new family and new happiness that she might not have had if none of it would have happened.
She loses one of her best friends who lived with her for such a long time. In the end she is basically down to nothing but still managed to go on and live her life.
"Blood leaked from her nose and licked at her lips. Her eyes had blackened. Cuts had opened up and a series of wounds were rising to the surface of her skin. All from words. From Liesel's words."
Death's narration, p. 253
"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.None of these things came out of my mouth. All I was able to do was turn to Leisel Meminger and tell her the only truth I know." pg. 550
"THE BEST word shakers were the ones who understand the true power of words. They were the ones who could climb the highest. One such word shaker was a small, skinny girl. She was renowned as the best word shaker of her region becuase she knew how powerless a person could be WITHOUT words." pg. 446
Words Can Do Powerful Things.
Love Can Drive Us To Do Amazing Things.
He laughed. "Good night, book thief."
It was the first time Liesel had been branded with her title, and she couldn't hide the fact that she liked it very much. As we're both aware, she'd stolen books previously, but in late October 1941, it became official. That night, Liesel Meminger truly became the book thief. pg. 292
She tore a page from the book and ripped it in half.
Then a chapter.
Soon, there was nothing but scraps of words littered between her legs and all around her. The words. Why did they have to exist? Without them, there wouldn't be any of this. Without words, the Führer was nothing…
What good were the words? pg. 521
“You could argue that Liesel Meminger had it easy. She did have it easy compared to Max Vandenburg. Certainly, her brother had practically died in her arms. Her mother abandoned her. But anything was better than being a Jew.” PDF 110
Words were what brought Liesel closer to her father, cope with all of her circumstances,bring comfort to others and ultimately write her life story.
She was on her own.
Throughout this book, the author shows Liesel
as an individual who doesn't what people defy her or tell her what she can and cannot do. Liesel wasn't supposed to be friends with Max. At that time Jews weren't seen as equals and anyone found with one would be punished. That didn't stop her.
She didn't care what other people thought about her. Nothing would get in the way of what she wanted. She liked to be alone.
She loved her papa, Hans Hubermann, and even her foster mother, despite the abusages and verbal assaults. She loved and hated her best friend, Rudy Steiner, which was perfectly normal. And she loved the fact that despite
her failure in the classroom, her reading and writing were definitely improving and would soon be on the verge
of something respectable. pg. 85
I chose this quote because it shows that what kept Liesel going was the power of words. This part of text is from when Max made Liesel the Standover Man before he left. Without words people are completely powerless. They have no say in anything. Liesel knew this already, she went against what everyone thought and defied the odds. Even Max knew how powerful Liesel was with her words.
Even with everything that Liesel lost, there was still some love and happiness in her life. She loved her new mom and dad so much even though at times you couldn't really see it. They took her in and made her their own. She had a lot of hatred and love in her life. One example would be Rudy. He gets on her nerves so much but at the end of the day they are best friends and she can forgive him. Another would be her ability to read. She wasn't as good as the other kids, but she just loved the fact that she could read was all that she ever could have wanted.
In some people's minds they think that words are just words. Nothing more to them. What people lack is the depth of those words and how they can do powerful things like change the world. The power of words is what turned her life around and made her feel like everything was ok.
I chose this as a symbol because there is so much she has lost in her lifetime and yet she still keeps going which truly reveals the type of character that she is.
In the Book Thief the way the author used the power of words in the book was something I had never seen before and really made the book more interesting.
Liesel used the power of words to explain her life story and share it to others. Also, its what brought her closer to her new family, and make friends like Rudy and Max along the way.
Book Thief Quotes
I picked this quote because it truly shows Liesel's love for Hans. She took a risk in the beginning of the book when she first met her new parents. She took hold of Han's hand and her whole life changed for the better. He was the one who taught her how to read and stayed by her side even through all of her nightmares. He was her rock and stuck by her side till the very end, when she had to say goodbye.
There was only a body now, on the ground, and Liesel lifted him up and hugged him. 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. 538-539
I picked this quote because this where Liesel is labeled as she truly is- a book thief. Its where she truly understands what she was meant to do, and it would something that would stick with her forever. She loves to read, and knows that what she has to offer the world is the power and her own story of love, loss, and most importantly her search for the pursuit of happiness.
She saw Hilter's words as her source of suffering.
Liesel walked at him. She was courageous enough to reach out and hold his bearded face. “Is it really you,
Such a brilliant German day and its attentive crowd.
He let his mouth kiss her palm. “Yes, Liesel, it’s me,” and he held the girl’s hand in his face and cried onto her
fingers. He cried as the soldiers came and a small collection of insolent Jews stood and watched. pg. 512
Throughout this story Liesel lost so much of what she had; her brother, sister, and whole neighborhood.
She leaned down and looked at his lifeless face and Liesel kissed her best friend, Rudy Steiner, soft and true on his lips. PDF 358
She has learned how you should never take the ones you love for love for granted. We have people put into our lives not meant to stay there forever, everyone knows that. Life isn't easy. We experience things like Liesel that we don't know why and can't explain. This is a key theme that we need to get out of this story. Enjoy every moment you get to spend with the people that make you the happiness in life. I mean that's all we want right? To be happy?
If there is only thing that you would need in your life, that would be love. Love is all anyone ever wants. That's what Liesel has ever wanted all along.
Love for books is what moved her into stealing them from others and ultimately making a new friend in Ilsa Herman.
Her love for Max was what compelled her into going against the German soldiers and in the end get whipped because of trying to talk to him.
Rudy's love for Liesel is what drove him to try and kiss her so many times and work up the courage to even do such a thing.
Love is a powerful thing and is the spark for things we never thought we might be about to do.
Without Rudy, she felt a good degree of absence, but on that particular morning, for some reason, the book thiefwas happiest alone. She went about her work and read the book next to the Amper River, far enough away fromthe occasional headquarters of Viktor Chemmel and the previous gang of Arthur Berg. No one came, no oneinterrupted, and Liesel read four of the very short chapters of A Song in the Dark, and she was happy. pg. 366
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. PDF- 348
And she loved the fact that despite
her failure in the classroom, her reading and writing were definitely improving and would soon be on the verge
of something respectable. All of this resulted in at least some form of contentment and would soon be built upon
to approach the concept of Being Happy. PDF 58

The fingers of her soul touched the story that was written so long ago in her Himmel Street basement. PDF 366
She seemed to collect the words in her hand, put them together,and hurl them across the table. pg. 35
"He'd have cried and turned and smiled if only he could have seen the book thief on her hands and knees, next to his decimated body. He'd have been glad to witness her kissing his dusty, bomb-hit lips." PDF 167
"That's my mama. That's my papa. The words were stapled to her."One could not exist without the other, because for Liesel, both were home. Yes, that's what Hans Hubermann was for Liesel Meminger." PDF 359
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