Liesel demonstrates that it is easy to be frightened, staring into the face of death and change. In the book, the first time Liesel was truly frightened was at her brother’s funeral. “The girl however, stayed. Her knees entered the ground. Her moment had arrived. Still in disbelief, she started to dig. He couldn’t be dead. He couldn’t- Within seconds, snow was carved into her skin. Frozen blood was cracked across her hands” (23). Liesel is not able to accept the fact that one of the only people she would share her life with, was now dead. She thought she was supposed to move into a foster home with her little brother, live happily ever after, and share life memories with him. All of that was taken away from her by Death. When Liesel was called by her mother to leave the burial site of her recently lost brother, she thought of their relationship and how life might be without him. Liesel then realized her brother was part of her and that was never going to change. “Somewhere in the snow, she could see her broken heart, in two pieces. Each half was glowing, and beating under all that white” (24). When Liesel sees her heart broken in half, it shows her brother was the most important thing to her; half of her heart belonged to her him. When he passed away, she felt empty, useless, and frightened. She was now forced to go to a foster home alone, and live with people she had never met before. When Liesel arrived to the foster home, she was too terrified to get out of the car. “It took nearly fifteen minutes to coax her from the car. It was the man who did it. There was the gate next, which she clung to. A gang of tears trudged from her eyes as she held on and refused to go inside” (28). Liesel is now being forced to move away from the only other person she loves, her mother, and live with strangers. She was frightened of what was happening and she didn’t want anything to change. In the beginning of The Book Thief, Liesel was frightened of change and was not comfortable with change occurring so quickly in her life.
Liesel begins to accept the fact that her life is changing, and it might be for the better. She begins to start stealing, displaying that she’s getting used to her new life, and is just trying to make small improvements for herself and her new family. After eating mama’s horrid pea soup for countless nights and days, Liesel decided to steal a ham from Otto Sturm who was delivering the ham to the priests. “There was a small portion of guilt at first, but the plan was perfect, or at least as close to perfect as it could be. At just after two o’clock every Friday, Otto Sturm turned onto Munich Street with the produce in his front handlebars… After approximately fifteen minutes, the diabolical plan bore it fruit, so to speak…. Otto came around the corner, dopey as a lamb. He wasted no time in losing control of the bike, sliding across the ice, and lying facedown in the road. ‘I think we might have killed him!’ He crept slowly out, removed the basket with ham in it, and made their getaway” (162-163). Liesel is starting to adapt to Nazi, Germany. She is now confident enough with her family and her situation that if she got in trouble for stealing her foster parents would not send her away. There was very little food because she was poor, which caused her to steal the priest’s food. Even when the Hubermanns thought everything in life was starting to stable out, a promise Hans made to a Jew in World War 1 comes back to him. Hans promised the guy who saved his life that he would do anything he every needed help with. Years later, the man ended up holding Hans up to his word and had the Hubermann family take in his son Max, who was a Jew. Liesel’s first words to Max are, “Is it- good?” (217). Even though Max could end up causing her and her new family to die, she still wanted to become friends with him. She finally built up the courage to talk to Max for the first time after five days. Liesel began to talk to Max more hearing the terrible things Hitler had done to people. “I hate the Fubrer (meaning Hitler in Germany)” (115). In this moment, Liesel is telling Papa, otherwise known as Hans, that she hates Hitler. She feels as if Hitler was the reason that everything was taken away from her. She was confident enough in her thoughts that she could tell Papa what she thought. If she thought of hating the Fubrer before, she would not have told anyone else because of the lack of courage she had. She felt as if she could not get close to people because the two people she had loved, were taken away from her. All of this causes the reader conclude that Liesel is starting to get comfortable with people. She also begins to accept that her life will not turn out the way she plans, but she will do what she can in order to make it better.
Towards the end of the book, Liesel’s courage and strength is admirable. Everyone she loved and cared about died and she had nowhere to turn to. Instead of giving up, she kept fighting which makes her an extremely brave character. Being a kind-hearted, brave person, Liesel decided to go with her best friend Rudy and leave small pieces of bread on the ground for starving Jews. “Liesel couldn’t help herself. There was the trace of a grin on her face as she and Rudy Steiner, her best friend, handed out the pieces of bread on the road… The first soldier did not see the bread- he was not hungry- but the first Jew saw it. His ragged hand reached down and picked up and shoved it deliriously into his mouth” (440). By doing this, it shows that she cares for other people’s lives and wellbeing more than her own. She put the Jews, people she had never met before, in front of herself by risking getting whipped or executed for feeding them. After almost getting in trouble with feeding the Jews, Liesel began to read to one of her next-door neighbors, Frau Holtzapfel. Liesel had been making her happy until Frau Holtzapfel found out that one of her sons died in war. She decided that there was no reason to live anymore. Once the bombing sirens started going off, Frau Holtzapfel remained sitting in her house. “‘Frau Holtzapfel, we have to go. Frau Holtzapfel, we’ll die if we stay here. You still have one son left. Everyone’s waiting for you. The bombs will blow your head off. If you don’t come, I’ll stop coming to read to you, and that means you’ve lost your only friend’” (485). Liesel suddenly realized that Frau Holtzapfel was still in the house so she ran to go check on her. Frau Holtzapfel refused to leave her house because she had found out her son died. She did not care if she died either because she felt worthless without one of her sons. Liesel risked her life for Frau Holtzapfel’s and her other son’s safety, who was still alive. Liesel knew that is Frau Holtzapfel did not come out of her house, there was a great possibility her son, whom was still alive, would stay in the house with her throughout the bombing. After the bombing, Liesel found out she was the only one on Himmel Street who had survived. She was walking around on Himmel street when she found her family and friends remains. “There was only one body now, on the ground, and Liesel lifted him up and higged him. She wept over the shoulder of Hans Hubremann. 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. Her arms held him. She kissed his shoulder- she could not bear to look at his face anymore- and she placed him down again. The book thief wept until she was gently taken away” (539). When Liesel saw Papa’s body on the ground, she said her goodbyes to him. Even though Liesel tared up, she stayed strong for her herself. Liesel could have given up at that moment but instead, she decided that she would keep fighting, even though everyone she loved had been taken from her.
The pain that Liesel had experienced in her early years, gave her a sense of bravery for the future. Throughout the book, Liesel turns from a frightened little girl who barely talks, to a young women with a strong opinion about life. Her bravery and courage made an impact on everyone around her. Liesel shows that if she could survive this horrible event, that anyone could. It teaches readers around the world to keep trying and eventually they will have the courage to stick up to some life’s hardest problems.
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?Jessie Zhu Characterization in The Book Thief Short Analysis of each character 1. Liesel a) Liesel is the “book thief”, she is given up by her mother and is adopted by a coups in Molching. She learns to read from his forster father and befriend with Rudy and Max. She learns the power of words and the beauty and the brutality of humanity. She survives Hitler’s reign while many of whom she loves dies. She has blond hair and brown eyes As depicted in the book, it says that “her hair was a close enough brand of German blond, but she had dangerous eyes. Dark brown. b) Liesel understands the power of words. She says that “I have hated the words and I have loved them, and I hope I have made them right”. Liesal changes from an angry and distrusting character to one who is kind-hearted and deeply loves her family and friends. By the end, she develops a strong personal moral code. c) Liesal is the protagonist and she is a round and dynamic character. 2. Hans Hubermann a) He is Liesel’s foster father and one of Liesel’s great loves of life. Hans is an opponent of Nazis. He is patient and gentle with Liesel, and is the first adult able to win her trust.
Hans is a kind guy and appears to be like that. He has silver eyes and is a quite tall figure. (“Liesel observed the strangenesso f her foster father’s eyes. They were made of kindness, and silver…” Upon seeing those eyes, understood that Hans Hubermann was worth a lot. b) Hans is generous, kind and sympathetic. He appears to be quite passive and unnoticeable at the beginning. (“He was able to appear as merely part of the background”) He is constantly motivated to help other, and his strong sense of right and wrong causes him to act against his own best interests. ) He is a round and static character since he does not change much over the course. 3. Rosa Hubermann a) She is Liesel’s foster mother. Although at first, she is quite abusive to both Liesel and Hans. She has taken care of Max attentively and believes that its is the right thing to do. She becomes the beloved one of Liesel. b) Rosa appears to be quite mean at first when Liesel comes and is always ironic to Hans and Liesel. However, Rosa goes from wicked foster mother to caring comforter and even a role model.
In the book it says that “An attribute of Rosa Hubermann, she was a good woman for a crisis. ” c) She is a round and dynamic character and quite stereotype since that her portrayal at first is very dramatic as a wicked woman. 4. Rudy Steiner a) He is Liesel’s best friend. He admires a black runner called Jesse Owen and from the point we know that he will not grow up to be a Nazis even though that his physical appearance is exactly a Nazis ideal. In the book, it says that he has “only legs, sharp teeth, gangly blue eys and hair the color of a lemon”. ) Rudy is a very bright boy and as he grows up, we see him developing a strong sense of moral and becoming quite thoughtful and serious. At the same time, he is very courageous and stubborn. He always loves Liesal and never gives up chasing after. (He is referred as the “boy who refuses to fear opposite sex) c) He is a round and dynamic character 5. Max Vandenberg a) Max is a Jewish who seeks for refuge in Liesal’s house. He is “the Jewish first fighter” who uses his imagination and creativity to fight Jewish in a limited space. He survives with help of Liesal’s family.
He is “a strange, small” man as depicted in the book. b) The fighting spirit always persists in his soul (“the Jewish first fighter”) and Max is quite persistent and imaginative in the way that he fights the Nazis with his mind. He feels guilt of putting the burden on the Hubermann however, yearning to survive at the same time. c) Maxi s a Round and Dynamic character. 6. Ilsa Hermann a) She is an important figure in Liesel’s life that remains mysterious. She is the wife of the mayor. Liesel delivers laundry to her and she sees Liesel stealing book and becomes intrigued.
She encourages Liesel to read and write and wants to help Liesel. She is very pale and has a “chalky” complexion and a “frail steadfastedness. ” b) She is quite quiet and reserved. Throughout the story, she has helped Liesel a lot so she is really kind and warm-hearted. In the letter that she writes to Liesel, she says thatWhen you came back, I should have been angry, but I wasn’t. …it will take a thousands visits till all of them are gone…My only hope is that one day you will knock on the front door”. c) She is a round character. 7. Alex Steiner He is Rudy’s father. He’s a tailor with a tailor shop.
His political beliefs are grounded in economics. After he loses his family during the Himmel Street bombing, he gets leave from the military and returns to Molching. He and Liesel develop a friendship, and he accompanies her to Dachau to try to find Max adter the war ends. He is very reasonable, logical and pragmatic. He has a sense of justice and humanity but never lets that interferes his decision. Analysis of Death Death is the narrator of the story. He has a never-ending job of collecting souls when people die. He gets distraction from his tedious job by observing the color of the sky.
Death tells us that if we want to see what he looks like, we should “find a mirror”. In other words, although he is invisible, he is the united form of human since when we die, we will all look like him and he is an essential part of us. Although he appears to be quite sardonic with a dark wry sense of humour at first (he thinks “It’s the leftover humans. The survivors” who he pities), as time progresses, he becomes more humane and shows more emotion. Like many humans, Death tries to find ways to give meaning to his work and one of the main things he does is to collect stories of courageous humans.
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Liesel is particularly interesting to him because of her courage and personality. Stories like hers keep him going and when he retells these stories, he says,” to prove to myself that you, and your human existence, are worth it”. In other words, he looks for hope in gathering, reading and telling stories. Nevertheless, although he has a lot of human qualities, in the end, he is still the being that comes to separate our souls from our bodies as his final line is “I’m haunted by humans”. He is most likely a dynamic character since he changes through the story.
Author: Brandon Johnson
the book thief character
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