The Book Thief Themes Landon Rast

Theme 1: Paranoia is the Worst kind of punishment

"Every minute, every hour, there was worry, or more to the point, paranoia. Criminal activity will do that to a person, especially a child. They envision a prolific assortment of caughtoutedness. Some examples: People jumping out of alleys. Schoolteachers suddenly being aware of every sin you've ever committed. Police showing up at the door each time a leaf turns or a distant gate slams shut. For Liesel, the paranoia itself became the punishment" (Zusak 129).

At this point in the novel, it is clear that the mayor's wife saw Liesel steel a book. Liesel was extremely nervous and scared that she would punish her for her actions. Liesel's paranoia was eating away at her. She was even scared to deliver the washing to the mayor's house because she thought that the mayor or his wife would torture her. Paranoia was Liesel's worst punishment.

In this article a women name Alice tells a man named Bob that she will "get him back" for something that he did to her. It turns out that Alice was not going to do anything to Bob, but she wanted him to be paranoid and do stupid things because of his paranoia. In this case, paranoia is the worst punishment for Bob because it messes with his mind and Alice did not have to do anything.

Theme 2: Friendship is key for survival

"They listened to Nazi footsteps in the basement. There was the sound of measuring tape. diesel could not ward off the thought of Max sitting beneath the steps, huddled around his sketchbook, hugging it to his chest" (Zusak 344).

At this point in the novel, Max is still living in the basement of the Hubermann's house. The Nazi's had just begun searching the basements of houses, looking for Jewish people hiding. This quote demonstrates the them of friendship is key for survival, because the Hubermanns essentially saved Max' life by letting him hide their basement. If they did not let Max hide in the basement, he would have been captured and most likely killed. The Hubermanns were also at a big risk because if Max was found in their home, they would have been punished.

In this article, Kevin Love, a basketball player for the Cavaliers, saves his friends life when he was drunk. His friend had drank too much and was not able to walk strait, so when he tried to kick a bottle out of his other friends hand, he slipped and his bottle shattered and sliced his hand. Luckily, Love was there to care for his friend and save his life. This is a real life example that friendship is essential to survival because Love saved his friends life. Had he not been there, his friend would have died.

Theme 3: Discovering what you love can save your life

"After ten nights of writing, Munich was bombed again. Liesel was up to page 102 and was asleep in the basement. She did not hear the cuckoo or the sirens, and she was holding the book in her sleep when Papa came to wake her" (Zusak 527).

When Munich was bombed again, almost everyone in the town died. However, Liesel survived. She survived because she was writing a book, The Book Thief, in the basement of her house. Liesel wrote this book because she discovered what she truly loved to do; read and write. She survived the bombing Munich because she was doing what she loved. Writing saved her life.

In this article from the daily mail, a young woman named Maria Hoen survives a cycling crash where she fell 300ft off a cliff. This woman was able to survive this deadly incident because she was extremely fit. She dedicated her life to staying fit and it is what she loved to do. She loved to keep herself in shape and be the best she could be. Doctors say she the only reason she survived this crash was because she was in shape and ready to take a big fall. If she was not as fit as the was, she would have most likely died. Maria loved exercising and staying in shape and that is what kept her alive.

Summative Theme: Paranoia is the Worst Kind of Punishment

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