Life Is Beautiful, a book thief fanfic | FanFiction
Markus Zusak's novel The Book Thief tells the tale of Liesel Meminger, a young German girl . Hans Hubermann's connection to Max Vandenburg is revealed: Hans . Liesel takes her advice, and working in the basement that once housed a. This common relationship with dreams led Max to write The Standover Man, Max Vandenburg and Liesel Meminger were victims of the time. Healing. For Liesel Meminger, there was the imprisoned stiffness of movement and the staggered onslaught of thoughts. I did not heed my advice. . when Max Vandenburg arrived on Himmel Street carrying handfuls of suffering and Hitler's Mein Kampf? . The first couple of times, he simply stayed—a stranger to kill the.
You have to learn to waltz on the day and have fun with it. Did you have time to do social things while filming The Book Thief in Berlin?
15 best Max and Liesel's things in common images on Pinterest | Words, Wise words and Fotografia
Yeah, I had a decent amount of time. But at the time I was going through a massive German theater phase. When I found out I was going to be in Berlin, I totally flipped out. I went to the theater quite a bit when I was there. Did you have to starve yourself for the role? You look very gaunt in the film. Yeah, I lost quite a bit of weight for it, and that was a really intense experience.
That put a very interesting filter on the way that I saw Berlin. It was something I wanted to do for the part. I felt it was quite necessary. Did you do any research outside of the novel for your character? Yeah, I read just about everything I felt would be pertinent to the time period.
I read as many memoirs as I could, trying to get kind of more firsthand experiences. I was very lucky and was able to get in touch with a few people while I was back home in New York prepping who were in hiding during the Holocaust, and they were generous enough to meet with me and share their stories with me. I went to as many museums as I could just to get as strong an idea of the time period as possible. Researching the Holocaust and starving yourself simultaneously sounds pretty depressing.
What did you do to lighten things up a bit? Call my mom and my dad. Just try and listen to music, read, paint—do something to get outside myself. Rudy Steiner Rudy is Liesels friend and alley after she was the first one to stop one of his penalties ever.
Twenty years after that promise, Max goes into hiding at Himmelstreet 31, the Hubermann house. Rosa usually screams and curses a lot, but is deep inside a really good person with a little golden hart. Hans is a calm and practical man, who really loves Liesel and even sells his loved cigarettes to get her books. Rosa does the washing and ironing for several households in the village to earn some money their poor. At first she accompanies Liesel when bringing and picking up the washing, but soon she let her go alone.
A mountain range of rubble Death introduces himself and the story. This will be her first book and help her learn to read. Later on, Death tells how Liesel arrives on Himmelstreet 33 in Molching and how the first months pass by. She still has a lot of difficulties at school because she is really slow with reading maybe dyslectic?
Meanwhile, war officially starts or, as Hans puts it: The Shoulder Shrug Hans trades a couple of cigarettes for books on the black market and gives them to Liesel for Christmas.
Meanwhile, Liesel writes letters to her biological mother, but her foster parents behave strange when she is mentioned. It turns out that Liesels parents are communists and most probably deported. Liesel goes bananas, especially when she is told that she is allowed to actually read the books.
Death introduces a nameless character, a young Jewish boy, hiding in a closet. Apparently there is a link between him and Hans Hubermann, but nothing is revealed yet. In Molching, Liesel and Rudy are so hungry that they start to join a group of guys who steal food from nearby farmers. Eventually they even go out stealing themselves when they cause an accident to a boy who delivers baskets full of food to the nearby Catholic Church.
Then, in the late evening in Novemberthe nameless Jew arrives on Himmelstreet 31 after a nerve-racking journey and is introduced as year-old Max Vandenburg. Max tells about his life. It turns out he is born in and grew up in Stuttgart.
He spends a lot of time on the streets and participates in fistfights. He later learns how to fight from his nephew, where he and his mother come to live after they got into financial trouble.
Hans keeps Vandenburg's accordion, and promises his wife that he will do whatever he can to repay the debt he owes to Vandenburg for saving his life. He lives for a time in the Hubermanns' basement, and becomes close friends with Liesel. He makes Liesel two books of stories and sketches. Eventually, he leaves the Hubermanns' basement because he fears capture.
Later, he is indeed captured, and Liesel sees him being marched through town on the way to a concentration camp. Max survives, and after the war he reunites with Liesel.
When playing cardshe is a gloating winner and a sore loser. After Hans takes all of his cigarettes used in place of moneyZucker gets angry and holds a grudge against him. Later, Zucker forces Hans to change seats with him on the transport truck as they head out to duty.
The truck rolls over, and Zucker is the only one on board who is killed. Most of the major events in the story revolve around this theme. Even Hitler's rise to power, it is suggested, is largely the result of the popularity of his autobiography, Mein Kampf. Later, the power of this book is used against the Nazi cause: Hans hides the key he sends to Max inside a copy of it, knowing that no one would suspect the sender or receiver of such a book to be engaging in suspicious activities.
The book serves a final purpose when Max tears out its pages and paints over them to create his own books. For Liesel, her first book helps her hold on to the memory of her dead brother and absent mother.
It is also the gateway for Liesel to forge a loving relationship with Hans, who teaches her how to read using the book. Words also bind Liesel to Max, who creates his own homemade books as gifts to her since he has nothing else to offer.
Ilsa Hermann is tied to Liesel by books as well: Their relationship is almost ended by written words—the letter Ilsa gives her for her mother, terminating her employment—and is also saved by them when Ilsa writes Liesel a letter of apology and gives her a dictionary.🎆Max Vandenburg & Liesel Meminger —"Lullaby"🎆
Finally, written words save Liesel's life. Because she is in the basement, rereading her work on her own memoir, she is the only survivor on Himmel Street when the Allied bombs are dropped. It is this book that leads Death to remember and share Liesel's story with the reader. The novel, however, also depicts certain limitations to the power of the written word.
For Hans, letters are insufficient to convey his thoughts and emotions while he is away as a soldier. Also, books are dependent upon one thing for their power: The books lining the walls of Ilsa Hermann's library serve no function—and indeed, the room itself appears cold and lifeless—until Liesel begins reading there. Liesel's own book is never read by another living soul, and is tossed onto a pile of trash after the bombing. It is very nearly lost before Death spots it and saves it.
Duality Duality is the presence of different—often opposing—forces or traits in a single thing or person. This is used throughout The Book Thief to emphasize both the wonderful and terrible possibilities of humankind. This dual nature is shown in nearly every character, including the most virtuous. Liesel herself is, as the title suggests, a thief; taken out of the context of her life, many of her actions would be considered immoral or worthy of punishment.
She steals books, food, and even money from her foster mother, and she destroys one of Ilsa Hermann's books. He later threatens her with awful consequences if she ever reveals the secret of Max Vandenburg. He does these things for her protection, and he does them reluctantly; however, this illustrates the potential within even the most virtuous people to hurt those they love. Rosa Hubermann is a clearer example of duality. She is brash, insulting, and speaks venomously of nearly everyone with whom she comes into contact—especially her husband Hans.
When Hans is conscripted to serve in the war, however, her true feelings about him are revealed; Liesel discovers her sitting on the edge of her bed, cradling his accordion—an instrument she previously seemed to despise—and silently praying for his safe return. Duality is perhaps most dramatically shown in Death's observations of humans. As the narrator, Death takes great pains to delineate the interconnected nature of the actions and reactions of the characters.
Although many events might be described as lucky or unlucky occurrences, their causes are nearly always revealed. The first time, he is saved because his friend Erik Vandenburg recommends him for a non-combat assignment; the indebtedness he feels to Erik, who dies that day, eventually results in him taking in Erik's son Max, a Jew in hiding, twenty years later. This in turn causes dramatic changes in the lives of Liesel and Rosa as well. At the same time, Hans's friendship with Kurt results in an enduring sympathy for persecuted Jews, which ultimately leads to Max having to leave the Hubermann's basement for fear of discovery by Nazis suspicious of Hans.
It also leads Hans back to military duty, pressed into service as a sort of punishment for his sympathizing with Jews. Research the topic of strategic bombing during World War II. Who engaged in it? What were the reasons for bombing non-military targets, and how were the targets chosen?
What did this accomplish, and what were the consequences? In your opinion, was the practice justified by what it accomplished? Do you think the bombing of civilian targets is justified in other situations? Why or why not?
Write a paper summarizing your findings and taking a position on the issue of strategic bombing. The main message of The Book Thief, however, is rather opposite: Do you think words hold the same power as physical action?
Provide examples—from your personal experience or from historical research—to support your point. The Hitler Youth organization was meant to indoctrinate young Germans in the ideas and beliefs of the Nazi Party. Enrolling in the Hitler Youth was made mandatory inthough enforcement was often lax; many young people, as shown in The Book Thief, thought the organization was beneficial only as an athletic or social organization, and ignored or dismissed its ideological underpinnings.
Pope Benedict XVIshortly after he was selected as the head of the Roman Catholic Church inbriefly came under fire for having been a member of the Hitler Youth. Do you think it is fair to condemn young people who participated in the Hitler Youth as supporters of Nazism? What about adults who were drafted to fight for Nazi Germany? One important element of The Book Thief is the notion of duality in humans—the idea that people are capable of both horrible and wonderful things.
Death sees the horrible results of human action on a daily basis, and therefore cherishes the rare examples he finds—such as Liesel's story—that convince him humans are actually worthy beings. This dual nature is shown to exist in nearly every person in The Book Thief; Rosa Hubermann in particular is shown to be stern and cruel at first, but gradually her soft and loving side is revealed.
At the same time, some figures—such as Hitler and Reinhold Zucker—are never revealed as having any redeeming qualities. In your opinion, do all people contain the potential for both good and bad, or are some people simply good while others are bad? Is there a danger in viewing certain people such as Hitler as simply evil, without attempting to understand their actions?
Similarly, Hans escapes death a second time because he beats his fellow soldiers at cards—a game largely of chance. His win, even though he is gracious and offers some of his winnings back to the other players, angers another soldier, who later forces Hans to change seats with him on their transport truck.
During that trip, the truck rolls over, and the other soldier—sitting where Hans would have sat—is the only casualty. In addition, Hans's generosity when winning at cards persuades his sergeant to recommend that he be able to return home to his family.
This lucky turn of events results in Hans being present on Himmel Street when the Allied bombs are dropped, resulting in his death. A memoir is a personal record of events in the writer's own life. Hitler's Mein Kampf, mentioned often in the novel, is a memoir, as is the book that Liesel writes about her own experiences. In addition, The Book Thief itself often serves as a memoir for its narrator, Death; in addition to revealing his own experiences with Liesel and the people in her life, there are also sections throughout the book labeled Death's Diary that relate brief glimpses of the narrator's other grim work during World War II.
Foreshadowing and Flash-Forwards Foreshadowing, or the suggestion of what will happen later in the story, is used extensively in The Book Thief. For example, after revealing how many times he saw the book thief, the narrator goes on to provide detailed descriptions of each occasion—though two of those events will not take place until near the end of the book.
Another example of foreshadowing occurs when Liesel convinces herself that Ilsa Hermann did not see her take a book from the bonfire. She was just waiting for the right moment. The foreshadowing in The Book Thief often explicitly reveals the fates of the characters. The narrator tells the reader in no uncertain terms what will happen, as when he states about Reinhold Zucker shortly after introducing him: Stories Within Stories The Book Thief contains many stories within the main tale being told by the narrator.
This includes brief asides by the narrator, which touch upon events not directly related to Liesel's story. In addition, the books Liesel reads are mostly fictional works, and the basic plot of each is described for the reader, often along with snippets of text from many of the books. The clearest examples of stories within the story, however, are the ones Max creates for Liesel. They are even presented in a different format than the rest of the book, in what is meant to represent Max's own hand-written and hand-drawn work.
Founded inthe party focused on a platform of national unity and pride, coupled with the darker goals of driving Jews out of the country and expanding Germany's borders at the expense of neighboring countries. Adolf Hitler became a member and quickly rose to the highest ranks due to his ambition and oratory skills; he attempted to seize control of the German government inbut was unsuccessful and instead spent a little over one year in jail.
During this time, he wrote Mein Kampf My Strugglea book that offered a positive and persuasive view of his actions and political beliefs. As economic conditions worsened in the years that followed—in part due to the Great Depressionwhich had a drastic effect on the global economy—Hitler's promises of a prosperous Germany won over a large percentage of the population.
By the early s, the Nazi Party had won substantial power in the Reichstag, or German parliament, not by force but by election. Hitler, however—despite his popularity—was not elected. Instead, as the governing bodies of Germany fell into chaos, the president appointed Hitler Chancellor of Germany. He quickly seized control of government and military offices, silencing his critics and any other social elements he considered undesirable.
The Hitler Youth was created incomposed primarily of the children of Nazi Party members. Like the Nazi Party itself, the organization grew slowly but steadily untilwhen membership expanded dramatically; between andHitler Youth membership skyrocketed from 26, to over 3.
The organization was meant to serve as pre-military training, and older members of the Hitler Youth almost inevitably went on to become Nazi soldiers fighting on the front lines or officers in charge of expanding Hitler Youth membership.
Equivalent organizations for females and for younger children were also formed; these more closely resembled activity clubs than military groups, though they also provided the Nazi Party with an opportunity to indoctrinate youngsters with their beliefs.
Although Hitler Youth began with voluntary membership, it was later required for all eligible German children. As the German war effort faltered in the early s, the Nazi Party began to call up younger and younger members of the Hitler Youth to active duty in the national militia. Members as young as fourteen were called upon to serve in antiaircraft units, and were killed in the increased bombings within Germany's borders.
With the defeat of Germany in by Allied forces, the Hitler Youth and its related organizations were quickly disbanded. Many German children who had been forced into compulsory Hitler Youth programs were often stigmatized later in life due to their involvement with organizations so closely associated with Nazism.
The justification for these bombings was twofold: Munich, the large city near which Liesel and her foster family live in The Book Thief, was subjected to over seventy separate bombing attacks by air. One of the worst bombings, however, was reserved for the city of Dresden in February of The city was obliterated in two days of nonstop attacks—the bombs set off fires that raged uncontrolled in their wake.
Conservative estimates of civilian casualties—deaths of those not involved in combat in any way—exceed twenty thousand, and some believe that as many as 40, German citizens were killed. In all, historians estimate that approximatelyGerman civilians were killed by Allied bombings during the war—dwarfing the estimated loss of around 14, British citizens due to German air attacks. One in every nine German civilian casualties was a child. Because of these startling statistics, the practice of bombing in city areas has been a source of great controversy ever since.
However, reviews for the novel were overwhelmingly positive, which helped to propel the book to the status of bestseller. Most of the praise for the work centered on the resonant power of the story, though the author's skill with language was also complimented in many reviews. And has there ever been a better celebration of the lifesavingand affirming power of books and the reading of them?
Some reviews of the book included brief cautions about the subject matter and its appropriateness for young readers.
It has also been a number-one seller in Ireland, Taiwan, and Brazil. The book earned Zusak a Michael L. In this essay, Wilson argues that the author's use of Death as the narrator of The Book Thief conflicts with the most basic theme of the novel.
Markus Zusak's young adult novel The Book Thief has received wide acclaim for its unique portrayal of the life of a young girl growing up in Nazi Germany. Indeed, Zusak's story and characters are memorable, and even haunting. In addition, he employs numerous techniques to convey the otherworldly nature of the narrator. However, these techniques amount to a narratorial intrusion in the story that weakens its most basic—and most important—message.
Synesthesia is a condition in which a victim suffers from an uncontrolled commingling or interconnection of the senses. Cytowic, in his book Synesthesia: A Union of the Senses, sums up the condition: Is synesthesia a real perception of a sense datum or just a projection?
Is there actually the rare individual who can really hear colors and taste shapes? Yes, there is, and his existence does not rely on our wanting to believe the impossible. Zusak uses synesthetic descriptions—combining seemingly contradictory sensory information—throughout The Book Thief. It is suggested by the narrator's connection of certain colors to the deaths of different people, but it also appears more explicitly, as when the narrator refers to the colors in the following way: The problem is, descriptions such as these are deliberately showy; they stop the reader's eyes as they scan, and either force the reader to try and visualize something they cannot, or ask the reader to acknowledge that they are, indeed, clever turns of phrase.
They interrupt the story in order to showcase the narrator's voice or the author's.
The Book Thief
Another characteristic of the novel, again sensibly attributed to the narrator's inhuman nature, is the constant use of foreshadowing. Sometimes the foreshadowing precedes the events themselves by merely a paragraph. Some examples are simply confusing, as when the narrator mentions—just after Liesel arrives in Munich at the beginning of her tale—a half-dozen events that will not occur for hundreds of pages.
Many foreshadowed moments are detailed enough to qualify as flash-forwards, such as Death's descriptions of his encounters with Liesel in the Prologue. However, this also tends to rob the story of much of its surprise and impact. Another technique of the narrator—again giving the author the benefit of the doubt and assuming he meant it to reflect his narrator's voice, and not his own—is the repeated use of callouts within the body of the story.
They occur on almost every page as centered and headlined blocks of bolded text. It reads in full: One can choose to view this as an author's attempt to experiment with description, or as the narrator's attempt to do the same. Either way, it fails; worse yet, it stomps on an otherwise touching moment where Liesel realizes the true depths of her foster parents' relationship.
The narrator also seems able to describe in vivid detail scenes at which hewas not present. He clearly indicates in the beginning that he only saw the book thief three times though this is not quite true, since he also sees her when she dies as an old woman.
Yet the remainder of the book includes extensive descriptions of events that even Liesel was not present for, such as the flashbacks of Hans Hubermann and Max Vandenburg. In addition, many of the narrator's descriptions seem to presume knowledge inside the heads of characters other than Liesel. Even if we allow that Death is telling us a story based on Liesel's memoir—which is by and large the only source of information he would have access to—we would also have to concede that these descriptions are then based upon Liesel's recollections and interpretations.
It would seem, then, that the story we are being told consists entirely of at least second-hand and largely of third-hand information Death interpreting Liesel's words interpreting another character's behavior or words.
This begs the question: Why not do away with the device of the narrator altogether? Why do we, the readers, not get to enjoy Liesel's words ourselves? We see very brief snippets, and we are offered a rather lame excuse about the book having deteriorated from so many read-throughs by the narrator that it has fallen apart.
The reason this becomes problematic has to do with the main theme of the novel. The obvious message of The Book Thief is simple: They can sway a nation, as with Hitler's Mein Kampf; they can serve as a link to past experiences, as The Grave Digger's Handbook does for Liesel; they can capture the imagination so thoroughly that a group of terrified Germans huddled in a basement briefly forget about the threat of bombs dropping upon them; they can literally save a person's life, as they do for both Max Vandenburg and Liesel.
It is disappointing that this underlying conceit of the novel—that words wield such amazing power, especially in book form—is undermined by the fact that we as readers are kept at a distance from Liesel's own words—her own powerful book.
Max Vandenburg - The Book Thief: Markus Zusak
What better way to illustrate the power of books than to give us access to Liesel's own? Instead we are given an intermediary—and a showy, contrived one at that—who gives us a second-hand version of her tale. Why does Zusak choose to tell the story in a way that undermines its most basic theme? Everyone says war and death are best friends. Based upon the amount of attention the novel earned due to its high-concept narrator, one has to wonder if the idea just so tickled Zusak with its cleverness and audacity—the same way it later tickled many potential readers, who knew almost nothing else about it but were compelled to pick it up—that he found a way to make sure he fit his story into that framework, regardless of how much shoving it took to get it in.
This trick up Zusak's sleeve in The Book Thief is a device no less gimmicky than the one Alice Sebold employed in The Lovely Bones, coincidentally—or perhaps not—another young adult novel that achieved great success among adult readers. For Sebold's novel, the gimmick—that the narrator was murdered before the tale begins—masked a comparatively meatless and mawkish story, making it at first appear far better than it actually was. Throughout the book, Pilgrim experiences snippets of events from throughout his life, one of the most significant being as a prisoner of war who lives through the fire-bombing of Dresden during World War II.
Anne's account was actually written during the ordeal, as her family and a few others lived in a hidden portion of a building in Amsterdam during the Nazi occupation. Though Anne herself died in the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp in —days before Allies arrived to save the remaining prisoners—her tale has endured as a testament to the horrors perpetrated by Nazi Germany.
I Am the Messenger is a novel by Markus Zusak. Unlike The Book Thief, it is a contemporary tale; it concerns a young man named Ed Kennedy who becomes an accidental hero when he stops a bank robbery.