The Book Thief: Theme Essay Example

Good Essays
Theme

Theft is a central theme for the novel The Book Thief, by Markus Zusak, because of the time in which it is set. War is a power struggle, and a battle for dominance over people and territory. Hitler was stronger than the German people, and convinced them through his powerful words to treat those who did not meet his idea of perfection as inferior. Liesel’s somewhat trivial theft acts in juxtaposition with the larger theft of innocence and purity that Hitler causes. Hitler stole the lives of the German people throughout the war, and also the lives of all those who did not fit the Aryan stereotype. This theft helped to demonstrate that he was in control of their lives, and that he was invincible.
Liesel is only a small girl, the picture of naivete. As the story begins we see that Liesel will unfortunately not be able to keep her purity for long. Death introduces us to Liesel; “there was one mother and her daughter. One Corpse,” (Zusak, 4). The reader is first brought to the picture of the mother and daughter which seems peaceful and appropriate. It is then contrasted with the corpse. The word “corpse” is harsh and helps to show that the picture first painted is not innocent, it is contaminated by death. Liesel’s personal purity is stolen, when death steals her brother’s life. There is a atmosphere of stolen possessions throughout the novel, be it people or objects, helping to achieve the atmosphere of war. This was a time when children stole for entertainment and the government stole for domination.
As Liesel learns the power of words, she recognizes what the Fuhrer is doing. Her stealing is what leads her to realize the power which the Fuhrer holds. Hitler was a powerful leader because he was able to manipulate the minds of his people. Max helps to illustrate the influential power which the Fuhrer had in his story The Word Shaker. He writes, “the Fuhrer decided that he would rule the world with words,” (Zusak, 445). Through the knowledge which Hitler

You May Also Find These Documents Helpful

  • Good Essays

    The Book Thief Theme

    • 621 Words
    • 3 Pages

    ¨ I am all bluster- I am not violent. I am not malicious. I am a result.¨ The Book Thief, written by Markus Zusak, is a heartfelt novel, which tells a story about a young girl living in Germany, but if we go beyond the surface, you will find a terrified child trying to escape the gruesome reality by going into the world of books with the help of her foster parents. This story is very awestrucking because Death tells the story of Liesel, and there is no bias because he doesn’t have any feelings and…

    • 621 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Better Essays

    Book Thief Themes

    • 1602 Words
    • 7 Pages

    The Book Thief is a very interesting and informative story, written by Markus Zusak. The author’s attention to detail and his wonderful voice that was shown throughout this story was impeccable. The voice of death the novel portrays as the narrator is a very clever and creative idea that made the novel even better.This novel had three central themes. Death, love, and effectiveness of words were very important and key themes throughout this story. This story commences in January 1939, with a 9 year-old…

    • 1602 Words
    • 7 Pages
    Better Essays
  • Good Essays

    unfairly treated, but he still learned kindness and peace, and eventually became famous and memorialized today. His situation is shown in some of the characters in the Book Thief. Even though there’s a lot of suffering and pain in the book, Markus Zusak shows how the characters grow from it, just like Martin did. In the Book thief, Marcus Zusak illustrates how enduring pain can make people grow in the characters Max, Ilsa, and Liesel. In the story, Max experiences enduring pain and gained a lot…

    • 605 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Satisfactory Essays

    Book Thief Theme

    • 287 Words
    • 2 Pages

    A novel would be meaningless without theme. The theme is what the author intends the reader to understand through the reading of the novel. Mark Zusak in The Book Thief , encompasses the use of imagery , diction , tone , syntax and detail all to portray theme of the novel. Zusak employs the theme that words are powerful , they can trigger violence but also constitute peace. The theme that words are powerful is illuminated throughout the novel. For example , in Max’s dream Hitler through just the…

    • 287 Words
    • 2 Pages
    Satisfactory Essays
  • Good Essays

    The Book Thief Themes

    • 948 Words
    • 4 Pages

    experienced horrors they didn’t know existed. Children, young and innocent, were no longer the pure beings they once were. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak takes place during this dark time, and there were many bombings, deaths, and pain for everyone one living in this time. Many characters in the book are exposed to scarring events that will forever change them. The narrator of the book is death itself, and he goes through the story of a German girl in Nazi Germany. Her and her friends and family experiencing…

    • 948 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    The Book Thief Themes

    • 309 Words
    • 2 Pages

    The novel, The Book Thief, shows the destruction of literature and writing, as dramatized by the burning of Jewish creative and intellectual products in a book burning to commemorate Adolph Hitler's birthday. From learning how to read, Liesel has come to discover many things she never knew before, such like how important it is to express oneself. It seems like words are basically the main thing that keeps her alive in the bleak world and that keeps her to encourage others in this chaos caused by…

    • 309 Words
    • 2 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    The Book Thief Notable Quotes and Response 1. “… it was raining on Himmel Street when the world ended for Liesel Meminger. The sky was dripping. Like a tap that a child has tried it’s hardest to turn off but hasn’t quite managed.” (Pg. 497) ~Its important because it shows that she’s like a child in the big world, a child couldn’t turn off a tap just like she couldn’t turn off the rain and change the events that had happened. 2. “She leaned down and looked at his lifeless face and Liesel…

    • 897 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    In Markus Zusak’s The Book Thief, love can be seen throughout the book. Love by definition is “ an intense feeling of deep affection". However, love isn’t necessarily an intense feeling of deep endearment. There are conflicting types of love such as friendship love or family love. In “The Book Thief” by Markus Zusak, the Nazi’s are in power at the time and the citizens of Germany have to withstand the austerity’s that come alongside with their position in power. The characters have to learn to love…

    • 698 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    through tragic wars and hostilities, even through tragic times beauty has shown as a light in the hardship of brutality. This is a recurring theme in the novel “The Book Thief” written by Markus Zusak, beauty and brutality occur in the characters Liesel, Rosa, Death revealing the confusing ways of society and humanity. Zusak won the 2014 Edwards Award for “The Book Thief”, which occurs in “machine” Nazi Germany. The society is facing the hardship of Adolf Hitler, who is trying to create a perfect world…

    • 765 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Satisfactory Essays

    The Book Thief is a novel by Markus Zusak about a girl during World War Two who becomes a foster child after her mother abandons her. In this novel, the basic theme is love. Love is everything. Love is in our minds and in our hearts. In this book there are two ways love happens, when it sneaks up on you like a due date for an essay or full frontal force like a threatening hurricane. Sometimes we do not realize that we love someone until its too late. Sadly we see this tragedy of losing the people…

    • 289 Words
    • 2 Pages
    Satisfactory Essays