The Book Thief By: Ken Williams

Kindness Always Follow Cruelty

"He left a small bag filled with bread, fat, and three small carrots. Next to it was a bottle of water. There was no apology. "Its the best I can do"(140).

When people are cruel like the Nazis to the Jews there will always be kindness to help and somewhat combat the cruelty. When Max had to hide from the Nazis trying to arrest him and put him into a concentration camp, Hans Hubermann finds enough kindness to feed Max even though he didn't have enough to find himself and his own family. The Hubemanns were not the only family in Europe that housed Jews when they were being persecuted and killed, there were many like them that helped how ever they could even though they risked their lives and their friends and family lives. The theme Kindness always follows cruelty is a huge part of this because in any situation you will always see someone helping another person that is being treated cruelly.

The movie "Remember the Titans" represents someone being kind even when everyone else is being cruel. In the movie Sunshine the QB of the football team is kind to all of the African-american players and couches even when everyone else was cruel and very mean to them. Just like how Hans is nice and saves Max's life even though he was a Jew and everyone else wanted him dead. Another example of this is Ann Frank, who was saved by some people nice enough to save her and her family's life at the economic and death risk of them and their family. When African-Americans were persecuted and hated, people like Sunshine in "Remember the Titans" were there to be kind and help those who were in need.

Breaking the law is sometimes Justifiable

"When he didn't move, Rudy looked at Liesel with alarm....He crept slowly out, removed the basket, and they made their getaway"(163).

In times of tragedy and panic people tend to break the law to get whatever they want of need. When Rudy, Leisel and the Hubermanns ran out of food and did not have enough they resorted to stealing, which in some cases justifiable. So they decided to do it in the funniest and best way possible, they iced over the road that Otto Strum took on his route to deliver grocery's everyday and made him slip off his bike and stole the basket of food. It is especially justifiable if you live in Nazi Germany and you are illegally housing a Jew. When they steal the food and run away to feed themselves and their family so they don't die. During this time there were protocols called war rations, which is when the country puts a lot of the food, energy and resources into the war they were fighting. Although the Hubermanns were already poor and could barley afford food for themselves and now Rudy, it made it even more difficult with the war rations in place. In very few cases breaking the law is justifiable especially if its the right thing to do and peoples lives are at stake.

When i think of this theme, Breaking the law is sometimes justifiable the first thing that pops into my head is the old tale of "Robin Hood". This story is about a man named Robin Hood who runs around in Medieval times in tights with a bow and arrow and steals from the rich and gives all he steals to the poor. This is just like when Leisel and Rudy steal food from Otto, as Robin Hood stole money from the rich and gave to the poor. Both these situations were in times of great trial and cruelty, the royalty of the Medieval era treated any non royals like they were scum. As did the Nazis to the Jews during World War I. As long as the law you are breaking is for good, like in both these story's it is always justifiable.

Someones story is another persons motivator

"Every night, Liesel made her way down to the basement. She kept the book with her at all times. For hours, she wrote, attempting each night to complete ten pages of her life"(Zusak 527).

In this part of the book Leisel is frantically writing the story of her life and everything she has lived through and lived for. The fact that she would use the last little while of the life she thought she was going to use to write her book says a lot. She wrote her memory's and of her father playing the accordion while she wrote and watched. Just waiting until the bombs dropped on her tiny little town and killed everyone she loved. As she writes she thinks about who is going to read this and how it will effect them. With such an amazing story she could motivate and touch millions of peoples lives. Its so sad that a girl just 10 years of age would have to go through something this traumatic.

Anne Frank was a Jewish girl who lived in the Netherlands when Hitler and the Nazis rose to power. Her and her family hid in a secret bookcase room where her father worked and got help to survive from friends. They hid for more than four years and finally were found and sent to concentration camps. Although Leseil was not a Jew, she was still a young girl during this time and had close relations with Max who is a Jew. Like Lesiel did, Anne Frank wrote a diary well she was in hiding that was made into a book and translated into over 60 languages and made into plays and movies. There is even an entire museum dedicated to her! When I was reading about Lesiel writing her book it automatically made me think of Anne Frank. Its so sad that there were many that experienced similar trauma like Lesiel. When I read a mere couple of pages of the Diary of Anne Frank it motivated me to do good and help all those in need and has done that if not more to the thousands that have read it.


Created with images by Thomas Depenbusch - "Bamberg Germany" • jjwhatsurface - "Nazi" • Michael Neubert - "Times Boy With Bike" • DariuszSankowski - "knowledge book library"

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