How Liesel’s Actions Place Her And Others In Dangerous Situations.

1052 words - 5 pages

Reluctance or stubbornness in ending impulsive actions can have consequences. In the Book Thief by Markus Zusak, Liesel Meminger’s inability to halt her dangerous habits put her and others’ lives in dangerous situations. Three main examples of Liesel’s dangerous activities are when she steals books, when she demonstrates kindness at improper times, and when she disrespects others for her own selfish reasons. In all these examples, there is always one moment where Liesel places her or others in harm’s way and narrowly escapes punishment.
Every time Liesel steals books from people, she consistently places the lives of others at risk. An example of this is when Liesel is worried about Max dying and wants to steal a book and read it to him in hope that he will get better. Stealing books is her stubborn addiction. In addition, she is accompanied by Rudy, endangering his life as well. The mayor could have easily informed the police about Liesel stealing his books and she would have been severely punished. This danger, which Liesel takes just to get what she wants, is proven when her best friend Rudy Steiner says, “You didn’t go in for food, did you? You got what you wanted…” (Page 289). The quote demonstrates how Liesel would do anything just to get a book, even if it meant lying to her friend and putting them both in danger. Another example of Liesel dangerous book-stealing habit is during the bonfire where the books were being burnt. This part is very early on in the novel and is where Liesel steals her second book, The Shoulder Shrug. Stealing at the bonfire was extremely dangerous as these books were meant to be destroyed. Anyone caught trying to remove one of these books would have been severely punished or lashed. The severity of the situation is demonstrated when Liesel inquires if Hans was to tell Rosa about Liesel’s stolen book, to which Hans replies: “Why would I?” (Page 126). He replies in a joking manner but it is obvious that he wants as few people as possible to know of Liesel’s dangerous book stealing as it would bring trouble to the entire family. Because of this danger, this is another example where Liesel’s stubbornness to steal books puts her life in jeopardy.
Some people perceive kindness in different ways as what they might think seems nice, could be harmful to others. When Liesel tries to communicate with Max, she does not pause to think that such an action would put her and Max in danger. On page 513, the book narrates “He cried as the soldiers came and a small collection…Standing, he was whipped”. It was Max who was the one whipped by the soldiers because they saw Liesel hugging and talking to him. Max’s life was placed in danger because Liesel thought she was being kind by talking to him. It is understandable that she wanted to communicate with Max after a long time of not seeing him, but the manner in which she conveyed her emotions to him was too obvious to the soldiers watching. Had Rudy not been quick...

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