Themes of The Book Thief By Cross Moreno

Theme 1

Sometimes, stealing can be justified
"Speeches would be made. A fire would be lit. A book would be stolen" (Zusak 152).

Books are Liesel's getaway from her small world ruled by a tyrannical dictator. Just like someone starving, she needed to steal for sustenance. However instead of keeping her physically alive, this kept her mentality alive. It could be argued that without books, she would have sunk into the same depression as the Mayor's wife, a decomposing corpse walking.

This depicts the character Jean Valjean, someone you should be familiar with if you have seen any of the depictions of Les Misérables. Jean stole a loaf of bread to feed his sisters children during a depression. This is justified because they were starving, and he had to do something as nobody was making enough money to support themselves. The rich became richer, and the poor became poorer. This was how it went, and the only way to provide food was illegally or immorally.

Theme 2

Sometimes doing the right thing means doing the wrong thing.
"There was a young man standing in the kitchen. The key in his hand felt like it was rusting into his palm. He didn't speak anything like hello, or please help, or any other such expected sentence. He asked two questions. "Hans Hubermann?" "Do you still play the accordion" (Zusak 173)?

As Hans Hubermann has shown, he isn't afraid to do the right thing even if more than half of his country says it is the wrong thing. He took in a Jew without any remorse, just fear for what the future holds for him and more importantly his family. He struggles to keep personal appearances up, however he felt the secret slowly eating him alive.

This is from a movie called S.W.A.T. Never seen it myself, but this line does sum up my Theme. "Sometimes doing the right thing isn't doing the right thing". Hans rebelled against his country by taking in someone 'inferior' to them. If Hans is found, his death of him and his family is certain. Some would consider it rash and too dangerous, but he feels that he is up for the task.

Theme 3

Words have power.

During the run of The Book Thief, Liesel used books, reading, and writing to cope with the stress and depression of living through World War Two. Life was hard, food was scarce, and it was always a question if there was going to be food. There were very few friends, and distrust ran rampant through small villages. Reading and writing was Liesel's only escape from her harsh reality. They listened while she talked, filling pages of her journal with her sprawling handwriting.

"Then came page 117. That was where The Word Shaker itself made its appearance. It was a fable or a fairy tale. Liesel was not sure whic. Even says later, when she looked upon both terms in the Duden Dictionary, she couldn't distinguish between the two "(Zusak 444).

This shows the bond between Liesel and Max, whom both had a fond taste of writing stories. While Liesel wrote memoirs, Max wrote stories of the sort as well, however in the form of metaphors and mature understanding. Liesel wrote about what it was like to live through the Second World War, Max wrote about his experiences in it.

Summative Theme: Words Have Power

This is a poster I have in my room I got from my PEPC youth group a while back. Looking at it fills me with hope.


Created with images by stevepb - "books student study" • Pavlofox - "castle keys close" • lesmana_andry - "dark" • RobertG NL - "Words"

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