The Book Thief Liesel Being Taught Independence

690 words - 3 pages

Essay-
Introduction-
In the novel, The Book Thief, by Markus Zusak, the reader is shown the development of protagonist Liesel Meminger, a young adolescent, growing up in Nazi Germany, from the perspective of death. Liesel grows from one who is naïve and ignorant to one who is independent and morally assertive. Liesel is influenced by books and the secrets they hold and flourishes in her close relationships of Hans, Rosa and Rudy. Liesel is taught independence in the close friendship between her and Max, a Jew in the basement.

When Zusak first introduces us to Liesel Meminger she is an ignorant, “naïve” nine-year-old girl, who is inattentive to the nature of war during World War ll. Liesel is shown as one who has been physically ravaged by life circumstances. This is conveyed metaphorically in statement from the perspective of Death; “Everything about her was undernourished.” She is displayed as a girl who has “wire-like shins” and “coat hanger arms” with a “starving smile”. Zusak further provides an insight to Liesel’s innocence with the contrast between her thoughts and the perspective of Death. Provided in the perspective of the reader and death, we come to understand the relationship between her father and the communist title. Her father, a communist, was presumably under threat or possibly killed, due to the threat of the Nazis, contrasts her ignorance, revealed in paradoxical statement; “There was really only one thing she [Liesel] knew about her father. It was a label she did not understand.” Liesel’s view of the situation becomes evident that she is confused in the series of rhetorical questions; “Why? Why? /Why?” when she asks why her mother abandoned her, who she then consequently felt as if she was unloved and being “saved” “was not a comfort”. Despite knowing her mother did not have the resources to support her, Liesel questions her value in her mother’s life; “No matter how many times she was told she was loved, there was no recognition that the proof was in the abandonment.”. Liesel longs for stability but does not trust those around...

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