1) Initially what would you imagine a person who steals books to be like? Untrustworthy? Mysterious? Evil? How does Liesel differ from your initial notions of who a “book thief would be”?
Ive never really imagined a stereotypical person of someone who would steal books. Stealing something generally is stealing something that is valuable and will potentially benefit you for usually financial reasons. Obviously someone who was stealing a book I would imagine is someone who loves words, and passionate about it. I’d imagine the person to be very mysterious they must be in some weird situation to not be able to access books. A stereotypical person in my eyes physically I would imagine them to be more a male person, as throughout we see more and have the constant image of male robbers, I could almost imagine the person to look not evil, but have evil within, which is what we constantly see throughout movies, with the same stealing based theme. Liesel definitely differs from what I would imagine a book thief to be, especially because her innocence, and how young she is, she won’t realise the Crime she has committed whereas an adult thief would.
2) Explain how these early experiences in Liesel’s life would have affected her as a child? What do these early references to Liesel indicate about how she is going to interact with others? What will be her goals/ objectives in life? What conflicts/difficulties may she have as she matures?
The first early experience that impacted Liesel as a child would definitely be when her brother died right beside her. We seen mentally especially during her sleep that most nights she had nightmares about this. It would be a detrimental feeling especially to a young kid who has an innocence to feeling alone especially when her mother and brother are stripped away from her. Due to this next situation when her mother leaves her with the Hubermann’s who are her foster parents. This would definitely confuse her as a child and definitely would break her trust. Which would be hard as a child as you grow strong connections and trust between people very easily for example your parents. it would be a lot harder for Liesel to gain trust with peers hence she will be much more pulled back and passive when interacting with others. We develop near the beginning of the book that one of her main goals is to most definitely be able to read. Some conflicts she may have as she matures is firstly her nightmares, as she believes as she gets older and more grown up these should go away. Another conflict is not kissing Rudy as she matures as she made a promise, as she gets older she grow a larger connection to Rudy and begins to sense that she may want a kiss.
3) Why are books and words so important to Liesel? How does she learn that words can be used for good and for evil?
I believe books and words are so important to Liesel firstly because she matures throughout the text to realise that words almost force people into doing things. Books and words are so important to Liesel especially because maybe she hasn’t got much, hence she holds onto anything she comes into contact first. As Liesel matures the books mature with her and she begins to understand some of the terrible things going on throughout Nazi Germany. She learns books and words are evil and these words are what drives Hitler and as she matures she understands words can be manipulated to be evil.
Quote: “I have hated words and I have loved them, and I hope I have made them right.”
4) Why does Liesel vow that she will never kiss Rudy?
“As long as both she and Rudy lived, she would never kiss that miserable, filthy Saukerl.”
Liesels vows that she will never kiss Rudy, as generally at that age firstly most girls think boys have “cooties” vice versa, and secondly she thinks Rudy is a “miserable, filthy Saukerl.” is a friendly kind of way. This relationship means a lot as they definitely have the same mental morals which can’t be change even they don’t realise it. This causing them to get along very easily. Rudy gives Liesel a sense of trust and give Liesel a feeling of what a normal life could be like. If one person wants something the other will help and this come naturally, which Liesel after Rudy’s death appreciates. This relationship alters Liesel’s life as she starts to slowly fall in love without even realising it. Rudy always helps Liesel out in awkward situations hence she always comes out feeling good about to herself.
5) How does Max’s experience in Nazi Germany alter how Liesel views her own suffering?
“You could argue that Liesel Meminger had it easy. She did have it easy compared to Max Vandenburg. Certainly, her brother had practically died in her arms. Her mother abandoned her. But anything was better than being a Jew.”
From my own perspective and most people in New Zealand during these times would see Liesel’s situation to be pretty serious, and most kids would be starving. Having Max makes Liesel appreciate so much more of the little stuff in life like for example the she gives him the little presents each day he is asleep. Both of them can appreciate this kind of stuff. Liesel thinks she had got it easy compared to Max, as Max comes a little bit later on the text she has matured so much that she understands how hard it must be to stuck down in a basement for 2 years of your life. Max’s situation I believe is Liesel’s biggest point at where she matures, as she really begins to understand how powerless all these Jewish people are feeling and for no reason. Liesel sees her own suffering to be minor even though she is a child living in poverty, she isn’t living with as much fair as Max, as Liesel relates to max and says how she too used and still sometimes has these nightmares that haunt and feel unsafe.
6) Liesel continues to steal books throughout the novel. Why is this act important to her? What purpose does it serve?
Stealing books is important to Liesel as firstly it gives her a sense of adrenaline which I’m sure during Nazi-Germany times was very limited being involved in the hitler youth squad etc . This stealing is important to her as she almost believes that the books would be better with her, showing a selfiousness and a strong connection she had. It was almost consider neccasry and normal to steal, due to the towns financial situations hitting rock bottom because of the jewish people leaving communities shutting down the economy. this act was important and served purpose as overall it matured Liesel, she grew to understand words can be used for manipulation or good. She could understand the difference between both and hoped that she was always using them for the good. Books also gave her something to hold onto and something you owned, its alway exciting at a young age to have something of your own, and especially when Liesel and no trust in things or finds it hard to trust things, she has a trust in words from the book.