Relationships in "The Book Thief" by Markus Zusak

Liesel develops two very important relationships throughout the book; one being Rudy Steiner, a young boy about Liesel’s age who comes to her front door to walk her to school on her first day, and another being Max Vandenburg, a young man who is secretly staying at the Hubermann’s house in hiding from the Nazis (Zusak 207). Each friendship takes a different role in Liesel’s life, both being very important.

Rudy is the same age as Liesel, so they can relate on a lot of things including school, their specific environment, and their interests.

They are like brother and sister; they get in, and out of, trouble together, and they would do anything for each other, even if they don’t know it. Also, from the beginning of the book, it is quite obvious that Rudy loves Liesel because of his constant demand of a kiss.

Liesel loves Rudy as well, but doesn’t completely realize it until the end of the book when she finds him lying on the ground, dead.

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Max on the other hand, is a bit older than Liesel so they connect because of their past experiences and love for books. In a way, Max is a role model for Liesel. She realizes by Max’s stories that if he can fight for his life everyday and not let his emotions get to him, then she can power through her nightmares and rely on herself, which is also shown at the end of the book, ‘Hot tears fought for room in her eyes as she would not let them out.

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Better to stand resolute and proud’ (Zusak 512).

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Relationships in "The Book Thief" by Markus Zusak. (2020, May 01). Retrieved from

Relationships in "The Book Thief" by Markus Zusak

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