The Book Thief

The Toil of Good and Evil: Multi-Faceted Kindness in The Book Thief 11th Grade

Humanity is always engaged in an eternal power struggle between good and evil, and the well being of society often hangs in the balance when such forces collide. This presence of good and evil of humanity is a central theme in Markus Zusak’s The Book Thief. Liesel Meminger is a young girl in Nazi Germany during World War II; she lives with a foster family in a poor area of Munich. Throughout the novel, Liesel sees the great horrors of life in Germany during World War II, but she also finds herself among very empathetic and kind people, as demonstrated by three incidents in the book that illustrate good persevering over evil. First, Liesel and Max’s bond over the trauma they have experienced exemplifies good in the face of tremendous evil they have experienced. Second, Han’s relentless goodwill towards the Jews of Germany shows kindness in spite of the evils of Nazi Germany. Last, Rudy’s extraordinary efforts to aid and comfort those in need further exemplifies good over evil.

The relationship between Liesel and Max demonstrates true friendship whilst in hardship. Furthermore, Liesel and Max bond in an incredible fashion while being extremely different personalities and under a great deal of stress. Max gave Liesel a handmade...

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