In 2005, Markus Zusak composed one of the most influential novels of modern day literature. His story is known as The Book Thief, a novel told from the perspective of Death. His role is to narrate the life of Liesel Meminger as a young girl growing up in Nazi Germany. Death begins the story at the burial of her brother in 1939, just one of many tragic events that will occur in her life, she is then given away by her mother, and has to grow up in the care of another family. For Liesel, this change catalyzes a quest to understand the power of words.Order now
This is because she stole a book at her brother ‘s funeral and desires to read it in honor of him. Her new foster family, the Hubermanns, and friends help Liesel on this quest. Death describes Liesel as a girl “with a mountain to climb” (Zusak 86) and Liesel ‘s quest to understand the power of words for good and evil is this mountain climb. To begin, Liesel does not make her journey to uncover the power of words alone. She climbs with her foster parents, Rosa and Hans Hubermann, her best friend and love interest, Rudy Steiner, the Jew living in her basement, Max Vandenburg, and finally the woman who gives Liesel access to her library, Isla Hermann. Each one of these characters helps Liesel discover the power of words in their own ways.
Hans Hubermann gives Liesel the basic understanding of how to read and interpret words by kindly teaching her through a difficult time in the aftermath of her brother ‘s death (58). Rosa Hubermann plays a mother figure for Liesel that supports her daughter throughout the book. Rudy Steiner shows Liesel the hidden potential for love that words can hold within them by always caring for Liesel. Max Vandenburg, the Jew that the family takes in, acts as a new . .her family and friends, but with the assistance of her climbing partners she overcomes the loss of her brother and succeeds in learning to read.
Once Liesel apexes in her quest she discovers she can share words with those around her to make them happier. This is short lived as she has to endure the fact that words can be used to cause so much death and sadness. She manages to resolve this issue within herself by creating her own words. Unfortunately, Liesel ‘s story does not end there, the night she completed her book is also the night Himmel Street was bombed, the sirens only came with the bombs. Every last soul dies on the street, except Liesel. She survived only by finishing her book in the basement where her family once kept a friend and a Jew.
Liesel ‘s mountain quest finalizes with a thought-provoking ending and concludes a masterful work of art, The Book Thief.