Honors English 10
2 September 3
The Importance of Love “It’s not easy to love people when they’re loveable. It’s harder to love them when they’re not.” This quote from an anonymous source expresses how much harder it is to love someone whose not loveable compared to someone who is. It embodies a hidden message made by Markus Zusak about love, through the use of Death, Hans, and Liesel, in his book about a family, the Hubermanns, taking in a foster child, Liesel Meminger, during the Holocaust in Nazi Germany. In Zusak’s historical fiction novel The Book Thief, he promotes his theme of love is more powerful than anything else in the world. Surprisingly, Death, the narrator of the novel, shows the readers all of the love in the novel while he watches from afar: “From the toolbox the boy took out, of all things, a teddy bear. He reached in through the torn windshield and placed it on the pilot's chest” (Zusak 10). Though we don't know it until the end of the novel, that boy is Rudy. By this time in the novel, he's dedicated himself to acts of kindness and love, small and large. Ironically, a plane like the one he sees crashed here, with its pilot barely alive, will drop a bomb on Himmel Street, ending Rudy's life. Death, again, uses his power of invisibility to sneak his way into emotional moments: “Liesel observed the strangeness of her foster father's eyes. They were made of kindness, and silver. [...] Upon seeing those eyes, understood that Hans Hubermann was worth a lot” (Zusak 34). The novel argues that it's easy to love, when we take the time to see the worth in those around it. Of course, Hans makes this really easy. Here we find Death creeping along this particular instance: “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” (307).
Zusak explains how Rudy's premature death keeps Liesel and Rudy from ever truly discovering whether their love is confined to