Maturation of Liesel Meminger


list significant changes that occur in the character and life of liesel meminger

begin this response by outlining liesel’s circumstances of the text. continue by explaining how living in molching with the hubermanns affects Liesel and changes her circumstances/ character. lastly complete your response by explaining how 3 events significantly affect Liesel. eg Jesse owens incident, stealing from farmers, standing up to Frau hermann, hiding max, Rudy’s death, Max leaving.

Liesel is a 9 year old girl at the start of the text who is on a train with her mother and brother to a foster family. She is naive to most death and conflict. She starts to develop some understanding as her brother dies on the train while they travel along. When she arrives at the Hubermanns she is insecure and will not leave the car, she feels alone in the world without her mother and brother around. She has no family, friends or relationships around her.

1) I would think that a thief would be someone who knows that they are doing something wrong to hurt someone else or empower themselves. I thought that it would be someone who is a bad/ evil person that likes trouble. Liesel differs from this because she is very innocent taking books to develop her understanding of the world and learn how to read like everyone else. The reason she does it is to become smarter and enjoy the words of other people.

2) Liesel’s early experiences would have effected her as a child as she had to grow up and become independent fast. She had to learn to be mature as her mother left her and her brother died so she needed to be able to fend for herself. These early events cause her to act shy and independent later on in the text as she finds it hard to trust anyone due to her family leaving her alone. Because she understands that in some ways she must fight for herself it causes her to develop goals such as running away to find her mother alone and then later being independent and picking up washing from strangers houses for Rosa. As she matures she has difficulty making friends as she is reserved and finds it hard to let anyone get to know her. She doesn’t want to be hurt again by people leaving her or letting her down so she tends to be slightly selfish by pushing people away.

3) Books are so good for Liesel because they are a way for to escape everyday problems. Liesel has a lot of horror in her life such as her brothers death, her mother leaving her and the war going on books are a way for liesel to take her mind off these everyday difficulties and let her learn about a different world. They are also a way for her to develop a connection with Hans because he is teaching her to read and this makes her feel success. Liesel learns that words can be used for good and evil as she uses them for good to learn how to read and see happy endings. They can also be used for bad as she has to steal the books from people around her and some bad ideas such as death are developed in the text. Also the burning of books by the Nazi party of propaganda they don’t like.

4) Liesel vows to never to kiss Rudy because she sees him as a best friend. I think she doesn’t want to ruin their friendship by kissing him as she thinks it will make it awkward between them. Liesel also won’t kiss Rudy as she is not attracted to him in that way she thinks of him as a naughty best friend instead. The friendship of Liesel and Rudy represents the trust that too people can have with each other due to war. They have each others back no matter what and will never let one or another down. They tell each other everything and help them to get through the war. The relationship helps Liesel to be able to trust people again after feeling alone. Rudys bold character gets Liesel out of her shell and helps her to show her true personality.

5) Maxs experience in the war alters Liesel’s view as she understands that his struggle in war is much harder than her own. She becomes thankful to be able to walk outside anyday and learn in school. Max is trapped in the dark basement so Liesel understands that she is lucky to be able to see people on a daily basis. Max is constantly under threat of being caught by the Nazis were as Liesel is lucky to not be wanted by the Nazis. Max also gets sent to the concentration camps which is torture. Liesel understands that her own circumstances are much better than the way Max is having to live his life in horror.

6)Liesel’s book thieving is an important act to her as it shows her value of books. Liesel feels the need to steal books to read just to cope with everyday life. It gives her something to put her mind too during the horror of war. Stealing the books is exciting for her and reading them helps her to escape the sadness of the war. It serves a purpose as it shows that Liesel is very daring by having more desire to steal books than be worried about getting caught and in trouble. She is innocent to her crimes. Any adult would know that they are doing something wrong but Liesel is innocent to any wrong doing. She does it to feed her reading addiction.

7) I think Liesel fills her life as best as possible under the circumstances that she has. She does a lot to help and impact other people’s lives under the sad circumstances that she grows up in. She is kind to the people around her like Max. She has no reason to be so open and generous to many people due to the miss treatment she has had as a child but continues to show her kindness. She teaches us in the Novel how someone who comes from such a tough background can grow and develop to a strong independent women. She gives bread to the Jews and reads books in to the people in the shelters when really she has no reason to help anyone out. This shows that just because she could have had the easy life by following Hitler’s rules she decides to follow her heart and go against his ideas. By understanding the wrong doing Hitler has had on her life she puts herself in danger by doing acts that rebel against him showing her independence and strong characteristics.

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