The Book Thief Themes By Stefanos Nikolopoulos

Theme 1: The Ends Justify the Means

"The depressing pea soup and Rudy's hunger finally drove them to thievery" (Zuzak 150).

As a result of Liesel and Rudy being starving, they turned to stealing food to satisfy their hunger. They only stole because they found it necessary to survive. These actions are a good example of why sometimes the ends justify the means. Nonetheless, when it comes down to it, the ends justifying the means relies on an individuals own ethics and morals and ability to judge the situation.

In the webcast, "Do the Ends Justify the Means?," Scott Winnail orates his viewpoints on the ends justifying the means. Winnail states that these situations are never black and white. Winnail then goes to relate his stance to religion with his answer being no. However, I believe that Liesel and Rudy were justified in stealing some food, but on the flipside, they got greedy and took more than they needed. Also, we do not know how the stolen food affected the farmer. Overall, the ends do not justify the means.

Theme 3: The Rules are not Always What is Right

"Liesel, if you tell anyone about [Max] up there, we will all be in big trouble" (Zusak 203).

In this quote Hans is telling Liesel that she must never tell anyone that they are housing a jew because it is highly illegal and they could all get in serious trouble. Just because the laws in Nazi Germany are against people of jewish descent does not mean everyone were against the jews. Some people such as the Hubermanns were brave enough to defy the rules and do what they found morally right in their hearts. As a result of this, Max's life was saved. This is proof that following the rules is not always doing the right thing.

In the article on Harriet Tubman by Tiffany R. L. Patterson, the reader is informed of Harriet Tubman's exploits. In 1849, Tubman made her escape from Maryland leaving behind her family. Tubman made at least 19 trips to the South to direct hundreds of slaves to freedom through the use of the Underground Railroad. She had many bounties on her. Some of which fetched up to 40,000 dollars because of the seriousness of her crimes. However, she was never caught. Harriet Tubman's story and the Underground Railroad are great examples of the rules are not always what is right.

Summative Theme: The Rules are not Always What is Right
My Great Grandpa in WWII


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