Analysis Of The Book Thief Novel
In Section II, Liesel moves in with Hans and Rosa Hubermann, who are her foster parents. Rosa is abrasive and abusive, but Hans acts as a true father to her (the only one she’s known). When she has nightmares in the middle of the night, he comes in and comforts her, eventually teaching her to read the gravedigger’s book. She also meets her best friend, Rudy, and begins attending school. She has difficulty reading, initially, as she has never learned before, but Hans, though a poor reader himself, teaches her. She also steals her first and second books — the first book being the gravedigger’s book, and the second being the book she steals from the flames at the Hitler Youth bonfire.
On page 58, the Jesse Owens Incident — when Rudy Steiner covers himself in black charcoal and performs the 100 meter dash — is described in detail. When his father catches him and asks him what he is doing, he explains matter-of-factly that he is being Jesse Owens. This reminded me of an incident from my little sister’s childhood. One day, she was out in the yard playing, and she said to my stepmom, “I’m a dog. I pee in the grass.” Sure enough, that is exactly what she was doing. The aspects of real life that children choose to imitate in their make-believe are often zany: Rudy didn’t feel that it was enough for him to simply run 100 meters to be Jesse Owens; he also had to be black. My sister couldn’t simply crawl on all fours or bark to be a dog; she also had to mark her territory.
What is the incident relating to the accordion that prevents Hans Hubermann from joining the Nazi party? Death mentions that a man related to the accordion will come later, bringing with him many stories. Was the man who taught Hans to play the accordion Jewish? Does Hans feel that he owes something to the Jews?
“‘No, Rudy.’ Mr. Steiner was steering the bike with one hand and Rudy with the other. He was having trouble steering the conversation” (page 60). I have thoroughly enjoyed Zusak’s writing style overall in the first and second parts of the novel, with his unique diction and wide range of personification (which compliments the personification of Death as a narrator quite nicely). However, my favorite literary device usage of his thus far has been his use of zeugmas, as illustrated in the quote above. Additionally, this incompleteness in Mr. Steiner’s control over his circumstances, especially those pertaining to his son, seems to foreshadow an inability to control Rudy in the future, as well as drawing attention fact that Mr. Steiner is an orderly man, but he cannot order everything.
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Markus Zusak’s The Book Thief is a story about family. Liesel Meminger loses her first family, her brother dying and her parents giving her away. Her second family is the […]
In Section II, Liesel moves in with Hans and Rosa Hubermann, who are her foster parents. Rosa is abrasive and abusive, but Hans acts as a true father to her […]