Book Thief Essay

4. Analyse how language features revealed the writer’s purpose in the written text(s). (Symbolism used to reveal important themes, characters, events, a setting…)

Colour: Red, Black White

Books: (3 books)

Death: (War, Liesel’s narrator, Hitler)


  1. Analyse how the experiences of one or more characters were used for a particular purpose.

Point 1: Liesel losing mother, brother sets up for hans to become a father figure.

In the beginning of ‘The Book Thief’ Death, the narrator, comes for Liesel’s brother. “There was an intense spurt of coughing. Almost an inspired spurt. And soon after – nothing.” Death didn’t kill Liesel’s brother, he only collected him whence he was dead. Liesel was on a train journey to join a new family, the Hubermanns, as her mother could no longer look after her and her brother. In the same day Liesel loses her brother, but also loses her mother to be given to a new family altogether. “What’s wrong with this child?” Liesel won’t get out of the car when she reaches the Hubermann’s. Rosa Hubermann Liesel’s new foster mother wonders if there’s something wrong with her, because she is too shy to get out of the car. Liesel has just lost her mother, her brother and her past in one day, it is understandable that she is feeling untrustworthy towards adults. “Fifteen minutes passed until they were able to coax her from the car. It was the tall man who did it. Quietly.” Hans Hubermann, Liesel’s foster father, Was the one to get Liesel operating again. The fact that he did it ‘Quietly’ reveals his gentle nature to the reader. Liesel begins to have nightmares every night about her brother dying. Hans is the one which goes to her room to calm her down. “Trust was accumulated quickly, due primarily to the brute strength of the man’s gentleness.” Taking away Liesel’s family put a hole in her life which needed filling, Hans Hubermann Fills this hole. Hans is so gentle and kind compared with Rosa that Liesel quickly takes to him as a father figure. The writer’s purpose for Liesel losing her family and past was to set Hans to become a large mentor in Liesel’s life. This makes Hans Hubermann a big part of the maturation of Liesel’s character.

point 2: hans being saved by max’s father set up for max staying with the hubermanns

Hans Hubermann was drafted into the first world war to fight for Germany. “We passed each other once in awhile during that period, though neither of us scheduled a meeting.” Hans had been fighting in the war for six months when he skipped his encounter with Death. The morning before his platoon was to leave to battle, Hans’ Sergeant asked them, “Who’s got neat handwriting?” No one wanted to come forward, as the last person to do something for the sergeant had to clean the filthy bathrooms. Eventually Hans’ friend, Erik Vandenburg, offered him up, he “obviously thought today wasn’t the appropriate time for his friend. Hans’ platoon went out to battle while Hans was writing letters for his commander, none of his squad returned. When Hans returned from the war he searched for the family of the man who saved his life. When he found Erik’s wife and son he told them “if there’s anything you ever need…” Hans returned home “expecting never to hear from those people again.” 20 years ‘down the track’ however Hans’ help was needed, but not for what he expected. Erik Vandenburg was a Jewish-German and had a son named Max. Heading into 1940 Nazi Germany the Jews were being highly persecuted, so Max’s mother going to last resort reached out to Hans for his favour. Feeling indebted to Erik for saving his life Hans hides Max in the basement for

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