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The Book Thief Essay Courage

The Book Thief – Courage Theme

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How the Hubermanns Demonstrated Courage throughout the Novel Eleanor Roosevelt once said “You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, ‘I lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along. ‘” <Brainyquote. com> Throughout the novel the Hubermanns demonstrate tremendous courage. Like what Eleanor Roosevelt says, the Hubermanns really did look fear right in the face.

One example of this is, they allowed a Jew to hide in their home, going directly against the law and belief of Nazi Germany despite the harsh consequences that could be waiting for them (Zusak 173). The family all cared for the Jews, and put their lives on the line to protect and care for them to the best of their ability. Liesel, the foster daughter of the Hubermanns, showed tremendous courage numerous times. Despite her age, she always pulled through to the end. Through all this, the Hubermanns demonstrated courage multiple times throughout the novel.

Imagine if you were put in a place where the fate of a man’s life was placed in the palm of your hand. The Hubermanns were lucky enough to make this unfortunate decision and it was placed on their doorstep in the middle of the night. They weren’t warned about this happening and had no intention of taking anyone in beforehand, but the warm hearts of the Hubermanns allowed Max to intrude into their lives. The only problem with this, Max was a Jew. All Jews were shamed, despised, and spit on during the reign of the Third Reich and Max was no exception.

But the courage of the Hubermanns and their care and acceptance for everyone broke through this fear and opened up their hearts for this man. Of course they took in account of the fact that if anyone found the Jewish man hiding in their basement, there would be severe consequences for the family. During that time, if a Nazi discovered a family who was hiding a Jew in their home, the Jew be taken away and killed. The family would then be separated and taken away from their home, with the possibility of getting sent to a concentration camp or a jail.

So by any means, the Hubermanns couldn’t let anyone know about the Jew. There was also a problem with supporting a new member of a household. Because Max can’t get all the proper care he needed, like daily hygiene and the lack of warmth in the basement, it’s easy for his body to become weak. This would lead him to being sick and the possible risk of a disease. With them keeping all these risks in mind, taking in Max was extremely dangerous for the entire family. Another example of how the Hubermanns demonstrated courage was when Hans fed the Jew bread in the street (Zusak 394).

He didn’t do this in the dark or when anyone was around to watch him. Rather, Hans gave this tired Jew bread in public and during a Jewish parade towards a concentration camp. There were Nazi officers and neighbors all there who witnessed this criminal act of kindness (Zusak 395). Hans knew the consequences that would result from his actions. But when he saw the Jew fall to the ground in exhaustion and pain, he knew he had to do something. He knew the neighbors weren’t going to do anything to help this poor man and definitely knew that the Nazi officers wouldn’t do anything.

Hans knew the right thing to do and acted out on it. He went with what his beliefs were and his morals, but unfortunately they were against the law and the beliefs of everybody else. Hans was very reputable when it came to showing compassion to Jews because he helped paint their houses and doors, but it prevented him from becoming part of the Nazi party. This only furthered his Jew loving reputation. His actions resulted in a whipping from an officer (Zusak 394). Hans knew there would be consequences, but he looked fear in the eye and didn’t back down.

It would take lots of courage to understand the severe consequences, and go through with the actions anyways. He stood up for what he believed was right even if it wasn’t right in the eyes of others. Finally, the last example of how the Hubermanns demonstrated courage throughout the novel is when Liesel read to the people in the bomb shelter (Zusak 381). Nearly everyone in the bomb shelter was terrified, and Liesel was no exception (Zusak 374). There were screaming babies, crying children and panic-stricken adults, all who had no idea what to do, except hope to survive.

Liesel was among all these disturbed people but she didn’t give into the fear. Liesel had brought out one of the books she had brought and started to read aloud to herself, perhaps to calm her fears (Zusak 381). As she read out loud, one child noticed her and came over to listen. Then her father noticed too, and came over to listen. Finally as more people started to notice, they all came around and sat around Liesel, listening to her tell her story (Zusak 381). Eventually, there wasn’t a single noise except for the sound of Liesel’s voice. There were many people older and more mature than she was, but none ad the courage to help soothe the fears of so many in the time of trouble. Liesel’s courage had allowed her light to shine in the dark that was enveloping everyone as the bombs fell around them (Zusak 382). By doing this, she allowed everyone, boys and girls, and men and women to stay calm during the frightening moments of waiting. Another reason Liesel was courageous, was because this wasn’t the only time she read aloud to the terrified audience. She had gone out of her way, instead of being scared and clinging to her mother’s arms, like many other children were doing.

Many more alerts had gone off for bombings and for every time she went to the bomb shelter, she courageously read for all the frightened people, distracting them from the outside world. Despite her age and the numerous terrified people, she was able to comfort everyone around her. The Hubermanns demonstrated courage multiple times throughout the novel in many ways. The family hid the Jew, Max, despite the obvious dangers and possible consequences if anybody ever found out. Even though it endangered their whole family, their courage helped them make the right decision.

As well, even though Hans knew about the consequences beforehand for helping a Jew, his courage helped him to stand up against the crowd for what he believed in. Finally, Liesel’s courage repelled the fear that everyone was experiencing during times of bombings. She soothed their emotions with her words and distracted them from the outside world. There were many other times where the Hubermanns demonstrated courage throughout the novel. For example, when Rosa and Liesel tried to convince Frau Holtzapfel to come to the bomb shelter when the sirens went off she was unwilling to leave (Zusak 485).

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Even though they could hear the explosions of bombs they stayed and tried to protect her, but were unable to. This is how the Hubermanns demonstrated courage throughout the novel. Like Eleanor Roosevelt once said “You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, ‘I lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along. ” Works Cited * Zusak, Markus. The Book Thief. USA: Knopf, 2006 * http://www. brainyquote. com/quotes/quotes/e/eleanorroo141470. html

Author: Brandon Johnson

in The Book Thief

The Book Thief – Courage Theme

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Well, clearly the central act of courage displayed by these three characters is the way that they agree to take in and hide a Jew, Max Vandenburg, and conceal him in their house. This of course was an offence which could have seen Hans and Rosa themselves carted off to a concentration camp for opposing the Reich and Hitler's decree that all Jews should be executed.

Hans as well notably chooses to give some bread...

Well, clearly the central act of courage displayed by these three characters is the way that they agree to take in and hide a Jew, Max Vandenburg, and conceal him in their house. This of course was an offence which could have seen Hans and Rosa themselves carted off to a concentration camp for opposing the Reich and Hitler's decree that all Jews should be executed.

Hans as well notably chooses to give some bread to a Jew who is being marched through the streets of his city, which was a very foolhardy and dangerous thing to do. This of course means that he is beaten by a German soldier for his act of kindness:

A new hand held Liesel's now, and when she lookd in horror next to her, Rudy Steiner swallowed as Hans Hubermann was whipped on the street. The sound sickened her and she expected cracks to appear on her papa's body. He was struck four times before he, too, hit the ground.

Drawing the attention of the German Nazis in such a blatant way was risky at best and potentially lethal at worst.

Finally, consider Liesel's book-saving efforts, rescuing book that were being burnt by the Nazis and preserving them. This again was an activity that was highly dangerous and could have resulted in strict punishment or even death from the Nazi authorities.

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