The Book Thief Themes By Derek Rodell

Theme 1: Death Creates Life

Life and death are two different things, but eventually they meet.

"The women took the paper, and not long after, a small child wandered in and sat on her lap"(Zusak 179).

After Max's dad died Hans paid his wife and Max a visit out of respect and to offer any help sense Hans had escaped death at the expense of his best friend. His help would not be asked for until years later once Max had gone into hiding for being a Jew in Nazi Germany. Hans and Rosa risked their lives to make sure Max held onto his and to keep a promise. Without the death of Max's father it is likely he would have been captured by the Nazis and killed at a young age, but the Hubermanns were able to offer him a chance at life.

Half way through this clip of the documentary series "Planet Earth" an odd, but necessary event occurs in the rain forests of South America. An enormous rainforest tree falls signaling death of a giant, but allows other trees and plants to take it's place. Without the death of the giant tree it would not be possible for plants on the forest floor to grow into their full potential. The circle of life shows that death has to occur for new life to take its place and then the cycle starts over again. If everything lived forever we would run out space and eventually nothing new would be able to grow whether it be a plant or an animal. Death is truly necessary for the survival of life.

Theme 2: Knowledge Creates Fear

Knowledge creates fear when authorities need to maintain power.

"When she reached her hand in, she was bitten, but on the second attempt, she made sure she was fast enough. She latched onto the closest of the books"(Zusak 120).

For Germany to maintain power over it's citizens there was a ban on certain literary works that went against the Nazi party. All prohibited material was burned and in this occasion Liesel stole her second book on Hitler's birthday. The burning of books essentially brain washed the German citizens into believing what the Nazi's wanted. Hitler did this because he feared that if Germans thought for themselves and realized what the Nazis stood for the Nazi party and the war effort would untimely fail. Liesel is already showing that she is capable of thinking for herself when she tells Hans that she hates Adolf Hitler after finding out the truth of what happened to her biological mother.

This is an article that is written on how Kim Jong-Un rules in North Korea. It states at one point that citizens are denied basic human rights such as reading and being able to think for themselves. He is a vicious dictator that rules with fear, though ironically, he fears that if citizens learn the truth about how the outside world is much safer than their home more and more will flee. Eventually, after decades of being force fed lies about the outside world citizens learned the truth and started to illegally leave the country. Those that were caught fleeing the country were and still are being brutally punished. This goes to show that people who can think for themselves and are knowledgable force strict governments to eventually lose control of their citizens.

Theme 3: Friendship Builds Courage

Friendship provides many things including courage and helps us grow.

The Jew stood before him, expecting another handful of derision, but he watched with everyone else as Hams Hubermann held his hand out and presented a piece of bread, like magic"(Zusak 394).

During the parade of Jews Hans did something unspeakable in the eyes of the Nazis when he offered a Jew on the verge of death a piece of bread. Earlier in the book Liesel openly told her foster father Hans that she hated Adolf Hitler for various reasons. Hans then indirectly told Liesel that he too hated Hitler. Hans undoubtedly took this into account when he offered the starving Jew a small piece of bread. Hans throughout the book has hinted that he never belong in the Nazi party or that he shares any beliefs with Hitler and the Nazis whatsoever. Up until this point Hans has never openly stood up against the Nazis, but we can deducted that it has to do with Liesel's viewpoints on the Nazi party and her devotion to reading which is frowned upon by the Nazis. Another possible contributing factor might be Hans's relationship with Max and how he could never let such a thing happen to Max. Both friendships helped make Hans decide to do such a thing without Hans even realizing it.

The seen in "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2" when Harry faces Voldemort in the forest would not be possible without the support of this friends and family. Over the corse of the series Ron and Hermione were always at Harry's side and helping him prepare to face the dark lord when the time came. The entire time they grew together and helped each other face their fears especially Harry. Harry's first two friends gave him the courage to stand up to not only Voldemort and other tormentors as well like the Dursleys and Malfoy. So when the time came Hermione and Ron didn't want Harry to go, but they knew he had to. Harry also received the last bit of courage he needed when he saw his dead parents and others that were dear to him that had all died over the corse of his life. Harry's friends and family gave him the encouragement he needed to face his death.

Summative Theme: Death Creates Life

Hunting is more than a sport to me its a way to provide for my family.
Created By
Derek Rodell


Created with images by PublicDomainArchive - "book shelf books furniture" • samit4me - "Dicky Days" • DariuszSankowski - "knowledge book library" • Naveen Kadam Photography - "Friendship"

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