The Book Thief Themes by Nick Kelly

Theme 1: Vulnerable People Are Desperate For Answers

Vulnerable people will look for answers anywhere.

"Even when rationing started later in the year, she was known to sell certain hard-to-get items under the counter and donate the money to the Nazi Party" (Zusak 50).

The Nazi Party had approximately 90% of the German population following or agreeing with them at this time. People were lead to believe that Hitler could come solve all of their problems. Some might even consider it brainwashing of the German people because things such as books were destroyed so the general public had no knowledge other than what the Government told them. This portrays how Governments can become corrupt and take advantage their people who are looking for answers.

This article by Romina Boccia, portrays how the Government takes advantage of their people. Even though it may be a democracy, the Government has more power than the average citizen thinks. This may not be as extreme as Nazi Germany, but it still shows how when a group of people has great power, it is inevitable that they will use that power to their advantage

Theme 2: Desperate Times Call For Desperate Measures

Hard times cause people to do things they wouldn't normally do.

"The road was icy as it was, but rudy put on the extra coat, barely able to contain a grin. It ran across his face like a skid" (Zusak 162).

In the book, once food rationing starts Rudy and Liesel began to get very hungry. They devised a plan to steal from a boy by the name of Otto Strum. They decided to put water down on the road where he would ride his bike. The water would freeze making the road even more icy than it was. Their plan worked and Otto crashed his bike. The two children then went and stole all the food he had from him. Liesel ended up feeling very bad about this. This conveys how this isn't something she would normally do, but in desperate times, she acted differently.

This article talks about The Great Depression in the United States. This is a perfect real world example of when people would use drastic measures to live a better life, and in some cases, survive. Many people would have to wash and reuse plastic utensils and even paper plates. This is a time where supplies were very low, and many people would go out and steal for their families. This shows how added stress and tough situations cause people to take desperate measures.

Theme 3: Vulnerable People Are Desperate For Answers

"-after all, her 3 books were the most precious items she owned-" (Zusak 109)

This book takes place when Nazi Germany came to power. Although 90% of people in Germany followed the Nazi Party in 1930, there was a fair share of people who didn't agree. Liesel is a perfect example of someone who is rebelling. She steals books that are supposed to be banned, she begins to steal food, and even keeps a Jew hidden in her family's home. This portrays how not everyone is going to agree with what the Government does, and sometimes they'll take action to stop it.

The American Revolution shows a strict Government trying to control a group of people. TheBritish Government is trying to control, even take advantage of the 13 colonies. The Americans fought back, hence the American Revolution, and ended up becoming their own country. While it would be nearly impossible for the citizens to overtake Nazi Germany because most of the citizens agree with them, this still shows that many things are possible and Governments aren't always safe from their own people.

Summative Theme: Vulnerable People Are Desperate For Answers


Created with images by ASSY - "euro items special coins money" • pcorreia - "Book burning" • tpsdave - "washington monument washington dc c" • Rennett Stowe - "Yosemite Road" • schuldnerhilfe - "trouser pockets empty jeans" • Hermann - "books education school" • Ronile - "statue of liberty new york ny"

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