Theme of The Book Thief

by Geneve Fernandez

What is friendship?

Friendship is the emotions or conduct of friends or the state of being friends. In The Book Thief by Mark Zusak, friendship often begin in odd places. War throws people together who would have never had a chance to get to know one another otherwise. Liesel forms friendship with a lot of people in the book. She forms a friendly relationship with her family, Max, Hans and Rosa Hubermann, and the mayor's wife Ilsa Hermann. Conceivably, the most captivating friendship of the novel is that between Rudy and Liesel; they are the best of friends. This presentation will demonstrate the development of the theme which is friendship.

Liesel and Rudy...

"Insane or not, Rudy was always destined to be Liesel's best friend. A snowball in the face is surely the perfect beginning to a lasting friendship" (Zusak 48). This shows that Liesel and Rudy will become best buddies. At first, they are just neighbors. They live down the street from each other, and cross paths at school and in the streets. But this is just the beginning of their friendship...
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Liesel and Max

"As the time passed by, the girl and I realized that we had things in common" (Zusak 231). Another companionship between Max and Liesel forms in the novel. Max Vandenburg is the Jewish man who hides in the Hubermanns' basement. His father saved Hans' life during the World War l, and later on, Hans tries to save Max's life putting the Hubermanns' lives in danger. In many ways, Max and Liesel have some things in common. First, they both have nightmares about something horrible happened to them in the past and they can't still heal from that experience. Another is they both love writing and reading books.
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Bandages or band aids represent their friendship because they help each other heal themselves about their terrible pasts. Max writes books for Liesel about all that she has done for him. Max's book, The Word Shaker, describes how Liesel's words give him strength and the ability to cut down the forests of hate. He and Liesel become great friends during their time together.

Liesel and Rudy...

"A book floated down the Amper River. A boy jumped in, caught up to it, and held it in his right hand. He grinned. He stood waist-deep in the ice, Decembrish water. "Ho about a kiss, Saumensch?" he said" (Zusak 341). This is when Rudy jumps to the freezing River of Amper in order to retrieve the floating book for Liesel, The Whistler. This shows that he would do anything for his best friend and Liesel would do the same too.
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Chains represent their friendship where all links are connected to make a whole. Liesel and Rudy are best pals. They often do risky and adventurous things for one another. They are hungry together, tired together, in trouble together, stealing together, scheming together, being happy and even being rebellious against the local service requirements together.
Friendship occurs right in the middle of chaos and despair of war, and it is friendship that makes the important of living.