The Book Thief Essay

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Describe at least ONE character or individual you enjoyed reading about in the text(s). Explain why the character(s) or individual(s) helped you understand an idea in the text(s).

History and especially World War Two is a testament to the duality of human nature. Jeffery Kluger in an article for Time Magazine reflects on this aspect of human nature. “The madness {lies} in the fact that the savage and the splendid can exist in one creature, one person and often in one instant.” I enjoyed reading about Liesel Meminger in the novel The Book Thief by Markus Zusak. Liesel is nine years old and lives in Nazi Germany. In the early chapters of the book we learn that her younger brother has dies, her father is missing ad her communist mother has arranged for her to be adopted by Hans and Rosa Hubermann. It is while Liesel is living in the Hubermann’s household on Himmel Street that readers engage with her rite of passage and her witness of the extreme ugliness and beauty of human behaviour. Liesel is a moral compass, helping the reader to understand the idea that we can counter loss and hatred with the power of words and acts of compassion.

Liesel helps the reader to understand the idea that we can counter loss and hatred with the power of words and acts of compassion through her relationship with Max, a Jew hidden by Han’s Hubermann in his basement. Living in a suffocating Nazi era, Liesel still manages to form a loving and secretive friendship with an unlikely Jew that allows the reader to be engaged and feel too the emotions shared between Liesel and Max. “They were the erased pages of Mein Kampf, gagging, suffocating under the paint as they turned” this is an example of the many counter words of hatred entwined with the words of love. One of the smallest treasures in Liesels life is the power held within her stories and imagination. Max and Liesels friendship takes height when Max gifts Liesel a story created by him called The Standover Man. The...
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