Liesel Character Analysis in The Book Thief


Imagine thinking you lost everyone already in your life. Your mother, brother, and you have never even had a father figure. Then later in your life, you lose even more. All because of one person who took advantage of their power and caused a war to start. The Book Thief by Marcus Zusak is set in World War two, and although all characters were affected by the war, due to the circumstances that Liesel went through, I feel as though she was the character that was the most affected by the war. This is because she lost all of her closest family members, and most of her close friends.

To start off, Liesel was majorly impacted by the war because her mother had no choice but to give her away to foster parents who Liesel had never seen in her lifetime. Although Liesel saw this as abandonment, and took it as the same, her mother was just doing this because the state of the war was becoming increasingly intense. During the beginning of the novel we learn that, “No matter how many times she was told she was loved, there was no recognition that the proof was in the abandonment. Nothing changed the fact that she was a lost, skinny child in another foreign place, with more foreign people. Alone.”(Zusak, 32). Just thinking about the impact the feeling of abandonment on a young girl is almost unimaginable. On top of that, Liesel also struggled with the death of her brother for an extended amount of time. She was alone, afraid, and not sure of her next move when she arrived at her foster home.

Liesel was especially affected by the war at this point in time because she was forced to cope with abandonment, and started a new chapter of her life by living with complete strangers due to World War ll. Secondly, another example of how Liesel was affected by the war in one of the most severe ways is how in part ten, she lost almost all of her loved ones including Hans Hubermann, Rosa Hubermann, Rudy, and almost all of the other people she knew on Himmel Street. For instance, when Liesel finally found Rudy on the remains of Himmel Street she said, “Rudy, please. Rudy, please wake up, I love you. Come on, Rudy, come on, Jesse Owens, don't you know I love you, wake up, wake up, wake up..."(Zusak, 568). This piece of evidence helps exemplify the fact that when Liesel witnessed some of her closest friends and family it tremendously impacted her. Just in one section of part ten, the author is able to describe to the reader how Liesel felt after the death of Rudy. However, Liesel had also lost her foster mother and father which also impacted her greatly. Just because of the holocaust, Liesel had to undergo dealing with the lost of the most important people to her.To conclude, Liesel Meminger was the character in the Book Thief that was affected by the war in the most severe way.

By reading the book, the reader can understand how much the war took a toll on Liesel, and how she was clearly the one who was impacted the most. To sum up, Liesel was ultimately the charicter who was the most affected by the holocaust because she felt abandoned from her real family in the beginning, and proceded to lose her closest friends at the end of the book due to World War II.

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