24th June 2018

The Maturation Of Liesel

Initially I would think of a book thief to be untrustworthy, sneaky and an evil like figure. This is because I think stealing is a terrible thing, it makes me think of sneaky people taking things others have worked for, for their own benefit. However Liesel differs from my initial assumptions because she is young girl who would never be categorised as a thief, she is an innocent child, whereas an adult who steals is in their right mind to decide what is wrong and what is correct.

The early experiences of seperation from her mother and the death of her brother, arriving on a new street with new parents, at this stage in the book she is powerless, she has no say or no worth of opinion. This may of effected Liesel to have anxiety of the uncertainty of her new life, we saw this when she wouldn’t speak when she was introduced to the Hubermans. This affects her interaction with others due to the uncertainty of strangers and a new environment because she is so confused by the situation of being separated from her mother. However we can expect a positive outcome from this early experience, Liesel may be able to read others situation  and be compassionate/ willing to help just as we saw with Max. She may be able to deal with conflict better as she has learnt to deal with a major situation of difficulty at the start of the book, we see Liesel come into the book powerless and finish a young compassionate lady who has matured from the little afraid orphan.

Books are important to Liesel and this is seen at the beginning of the book when she takes the hand-diggers grave book with her. This book becomes of great importance to her as it is the last thing she has of her brother and she starts to read the book with Hans to keep him close to her. Its a book that brings Liesel reassurance and safety mentally. As Liesel reads on through many books she realises words have the power to enrich, give life and take life, that they can be used for good and evil. When Max helps her to understand Hitlers intentions throughout the “Word shaker” she realises that Hitler uses words to plant ideas in peoples heads.

Liesel promises to herself that she will never kiss Rudy, because she finds him a “filthy Saukerl.” Liesel may also have trust problems when getting too close other people after the seperation she went through with her mother. Liesel is also only 10 years old at this stage, an age where physical attraction is a limitation to the mind, 10 years olds are typically immature about having crushes on the opposite sex, which is another reason why Liesel may of felt so against kissing Rudy. The purpose of Liesel and Rudys friendship is to provide a secure friend for Liesel to go to, Rudy appears as soon as Liesel arrives on Himmel St, which suggests he may of been an indication to Liesel that people cared for her even though the people she loved originally were gone. This may alter Liesels new life on Himmel St as it creates a friendly, secure environment for her to begin living in.

Max’s experience of Nazi Germany may alter Liesels experience of her own suffering because they both have lost their parents to the nazi regime, however Liesel failed to acknowledge this was because of the Nazi regime before Max outlined Hitler in his book the word shaker. This alters Liesels experience of her own suffering because it may make her realise she was fortunate to have a new life on Himmel St, after she lost her brother and mother, whereas Max remained on the run once he was separated from his family. The difference here is that Liesel was safe, Max was not because he was a jew, Liesels experience of suffering may be altered to realising she was lucky to be guided out of it and looked after.

Liesel keeps stealing books throughout the novel because it is a way of educating herself and resisting the nazi regime, of the book burnings. Liesel discovers the power of written words, stealing books is a form of Liesel making her own story and in some sense taking control of a world gone mad. Its a way of empowering herself and in a small way defying Hitler as she especially hates him after the stories Max has told her. Liesel finds out Hitler is mot likely responsible for the disappearance of her parents, he is responsible for Max being on the run and his seperation from his family but also the poverty that led to her brothers death. So stealing books is Liesels way of going against Hitlers regime, this is especially why she chooses to steal from the mayors wife since the mayor is high up in the nazi party.

Liesel did leave a fulfilled life, she lived in times of darkness and inhumane activity, but at the end of the novel we see her find a fulfilled life to carry on. She teaches us the power of words, she read books over and over again educating herself, she then used these words to help her cope with grief, to help her vent her feelings and to bring comfort to Max when he was in hiding. She also taught us as readers that friendships dont have to be between equals, even though Hitler branded the jews as the inferior to Germans, Liesel never thought twice about her love and compassion for Max even though she was growing up in a world where Jewish people were the enemy. She also made us realise we must not take certain things for vantage, for example when Max was living in their basement and couldn’t do simple things like go outside and breathe in fresh air. When Liesel makes a snowman in the basement for Max she was trying to create an environment where he could feel the normalities of what he had rights to.

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