The Book Thief

How does part seven capture the extremes of human kindness and evil? As a reader, what do you learn from this theme? Use evidence to support your answer.

All of chapter seven, how do some acts show kindness and evil? Use evidence from the acts to support the answer.

Asked by
Last updated by Aslan
Answers 1
Add Yours

The image of Jewish prisoners en route to a concentration camp being "paraded" through Molching is a dark simulacrum of the Hitler Youth carnival, another Nazi civic event. The swift athletics of Rudy and the other runners contrasts with the shambling motions of the emaciated Jews. Both events are presided over by ambitious young followers of Hitler. Rudy appears to succeed in showing up Franz Deutscher, the cruel Hitler Youth leader, and he appears to do it on his own terms, willingly disqualifying himself from the final race. By contrast, the Jews are entirely at the will of the Nazi soldiers, some of whom only boys. Yet Rudy is also condemned, as the two agents who visit his home intend to recruit him for the military, in no small part because of his athletic accomplishments at the carnival.

Hans appears to have given the bread to the older Jew almost instinctively, without thought. Liesel is deeply impressed by Hans' brave and selfless humanity, yet Hans regrets his action. Hans has brought increased scrutiny towards his family, and Max can no longer safely remain with the Hubermanns. In offering a piece of bread to a frail Jew who is virtually certain to die, Hans endangers the life of the healthier, younger, and freer Max. Moreover, the older Jew, who does not even take the bread, is harshly punished.