Research Paper

1625 words - 7 pages

A hero is a person who is looked upon to perform extraordinary tasks and praiseworthy deeds. However, a hero can be anyone if he or she perseveres and endures the trials and tribulations of said tasks despite overwhelming obstacles (Reeves). These concepts help to create what is known in literature as the Hero’s Journey. In the novel, The Book Thief by Markus Zusak, the tale's protagonist Liesel Meminger is born during the world's most controversial time period, the Holocaust. Despites the predicament she is put in, Liesel will begin her adventure when she is engage by importance of literature. Her journey will be consists of understanding the fundamental concepts of literature to connect with the society she is in, with the help of her foster parents and friends. In doing so, she will persevere through problems and create a mortal system of support for herself as a prime example in representing the heroine of the hero's journey
Joseph Campbell explains the call to adventure as “destiny has summoned the hero and transferred his spiritual center of gravity within the pale of his society to a zone unknown” (Campbell 48). Unlike other heroes who start their journeys in an ordinary world to a world of unknowns. Liesel’s adventure begins the day she was born which is consider to be an unknown world to her but this changes when she moves into Himmel street with the Hubermanns. She learns to find security and love with them, and lives in an ordinary life. However, this changes when she is significantly expose to her first atrocious law by Hitler, which is the book burning event. At the age where she still is learning, Liesel is confuse at why the people are burning knowledges and books because at that time she fell in love with the book she picked up during her brother’s funeral ceremony. This is the first sign of her call to adventure for Liesel but it was not as significant and dramatic to her as the book burning event. She steals her first book call, “The Gravedigger’s Handbook”because she wants something in memory of her brother and the way she feels. Little did Liesel know, the book helps her want to know more about the world around her and opens her perspective during the book burning event. The interest she have in books help shapes her into the heroine we see throughout the novel.
The scene of Werner’s death exposes Liesel to another stage of the hero’s journey which is the refusal of the call. During this scene, Death states, “Still in disbelief, she started to dig. He couldn’t be dead. He couldn’t be dead. He couldn’t...” (Zusak 29). At such a young age, Liesel cannot accept the idea that someone who she cares for has died in front her. A subtitle written in the book is, “Not leaving, an act of trust and love, often deciphered by children” (39). Werner is a character who Liesel has full trust in because he was supposed to be in the new foster family with her. James Campbell said, “The subject loses the power of significant affirmative action...

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