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Essay: Booktest: The Book Thief

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  • Published: 30 October 2015*
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a. The Book Thief
b. Markus Zusak
c. 2005
a. The story starts in January 1939 and ends in October 1945. This story takes place in the Second World War. In the book the narrator says every now and then which month and year it is. For example at the beginning of the book: ‘ It was January 1939.’ And at the end of the book: ‘Finally, in Octobre 1945, a man with swampy eyes, feathers of hair and a clean-shaven face walked into the shop.’
b. The story mainly takes place in a village in Germany. The village is called Molching. The home of the foster parents from the main character, Liesel, is on Himmel Street, Molcing. In the beginning of the story Liesel goes tot this place and she stays there the rest of the book.
The main character is Liesel. She’s lost her family at young age: first her father, because he was a communist, then her brother, in the train on the way to her future foster parents and when she went to her foster parents also her mother. She has a hard time trusting her foster parents, but eventually they are really sweet. Liesel cares about her people near by, Hans, Rudy and Max. But she also cares about people in general. She feels frustrated at the way Hitler rules and doesn’t always follow the regulations. For example, someone makes fun of her, because she can’t read and she beats him. But this motivates her to learn how to read and that’s why she steals the books.
Liesel is a girl with dark brown eyes and blond hair, mostly in two braids beside her head. When Liesel first came to Himmelstreet she wore a thin coat that was useless, because she was really cold. She had a small suitcase with some clothes in it. She wore a folded layer of clothes.
Liesel often wore her required uniform from Hitler Youth. It was a small brown uniform
‘Her hair was close enough brand of German-blond, but she had dangerous eyes. Dark brown.’
a. The novel is narrated by Death. Technically it’s an I-perspective, because Death tells about the story and his thoughts are mentioned. Most of time, though, Death tells about Liesel and her experiences, so if you look at it that way, it’s the omniscient author’s point of view.
b. It’s really interesting to read a novel Death has written. He already knows how the story ends and he tells some things that are going to happen in advance. This made me curious and that’s a good thing, because I wanted to keep reading. I think I finished this book in about four days, because I so deeply wanted to know how it was going to end.
a. In the introduction of the book Death tells about himself and how everybody will get to meet him one day. This is how Liesel comes in the novel. Death is fascinated by her and her story. He tells about how he saw her three times. This means that she has seen someone nearby pass away three times. Then he begins telling how Liesel came with her foster parents. He describes the people who live in Himmelstreet and he introduces the way things go there.
b. The intitial incident is on Hitler’s birthday, April 20 1940. Liesel steals a book after the book burning. She starts to be aware of what it means to be living in Nazi Germany and the nasty things Hitler does to people. The only thing she knew about her father was that he was a suspect of being a communist. She realizes that Hitler is probably behind her father’s, brother’s, and her mother’s loss.
c. The rising action starts when a jew goes into hiding with Liesels foster parents. A Jewish man saved Hans’s life during World War I, giving up his own life. Hans, Liesels foster father, owes him everything and Hans helps his son Max in World War II. Hiding a Jewish person in your home during World War II is one of the most dangerous things a German person could do.
Liesel also has a complicated relationship with Ilsa Hermann, the major’s wife. Ilsa saw Liesel steal the book on Hitler’s birthday. She also pays Liesels foster mother to do her laundry. On laundry visits, Liesel is allowed to read books in the major’s library. When Ilsa has to stop using Rosa’s services, Liesel begins stealing books from her. Ilsa knows, but she’s okay with this.
d. The climax is when ‘The parade of Jews’ comes in Molching in October of 1942. These people are on their way to the nearby concentration camp Dachau. Hans is a good man and gives one of the Jews a piece of bread. This was a kind, but stupid thing to do. Hans is afraid the Nazis will search his house and will find Max. He sends Max away that very night. His house is never searched, but Hans is, as punishment, conscripted into the German army and has to leave Molching. Fortunately he comes back alive.
e. The down going action is in August of 1943. In one of the many ‘parade of Jews’ Liesel sees Max marching through Molching. She walks with him in the parade. She finds out he was arrested six months earlier. The Nazi guards don’t like what Liesel’s doing and Liesel and Max are both beaten. Rudy, Liesels best friend, stops Liesel from following Max and possibly saves her life.
Soon after this incident, Liesel decides to give up her stolen books and Ilsa Herman’s library. Ilsa gives her a blank book, and Liesel begins writing the story of her life, called The Book Thief. When she writes in the basement, Himmel Street gets bombed. Everybody she loves dies while they sleep.
f. The conclusion is in the epilogue. First you get to know that Liesel has died after living a happy, long life with a husband, kids and grandkids. End the end of the story you read how Liesel works in the shop of Rudy’s father. Max visits her there. She and Max are together again at the end of World War II.
Liesel, the main character is The Book Thief. The first time she steals a book is on the funeral from her brother, in the beginning of the book. The book’s called A Gravedigger’s Handbook. The book means much to her because it symbolises the last time she saw her brother and mother. On Adolph Hitler’s birthday on April 20, 1940, Liesel steals a book after the book burning. Liesel starts to be aware of what it means to be living in Nazi Germany. The only thing she knew about her father is that he was accused of being a communist. She realizes that Hitler is likely behind her father’s disappearance, her brother’s death, and her mother’s recent disappearance. Stealing the books is a little protest against Hitler. Later it becomes a habit, because she really likes to read.
a. This work is a novel.
b. It is a historical novel about war and friendship.

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