The Book Thief by Markus Zusak: Book and Movie Analysis

Categories: The Book Thief

The Book Thief is a historical-fiction novel. It is the beloved international bestselling book of Markus Zusak’s in the year 2006. In the year 2013, the novel is adapted by Michael Petroni and directed by Brian Percival, the film version of “The Book Thief” forgoes the ultimate severity of the historical situation in favor of a well-created drama that’s perfect for the whole family due to the vibrant work of its talented cast. The Book Thief tells the story of an extraordinary, mettlesome young girl sent to live with a foster family in World War ll in Nazi, Germany.

The girl’s name is Liesel. She was conspire by the only book she brought with her, she starts collecting books as she finds them. She was living with her new parent because she is a communist.

Get to Know The Price Estimate For Your Paper
Number of pages
Email Invalid email

By clicking “Check Writers’ Offers”, you agree to our terms of service and privacy policy. We’ll occasionally send you promo and account related email

"You must agree to out terms of services and privacy policy"
Write my paper

You won’t be charged yet!

With the help of her new parents and a secret guest under the stairs, she learns to read and creates a magical world that inspires them all.

Get quality help now
Marrie pro writer
Marrie pro writer
checked Verified writer

Proficient in: Film

star star star star 5 (204)

“ She followed all my directions. It was really easy to contact her and respond very fast as well. ”

avatar avatar avatar
+84 relevant experts are online
Hire writer

Beyond this movie was an underlying message for each viewers that the humans have the capacity to be resilient and compassionate.

The Book Thief revolves around the life of a young girl, Liesel Meminger. She was travelling by train with her mother and her younger brother dies as they travelled. Her mother buries the boy in a cemetery by the tracks and Liesel picks up a book, “The Gravediggers Handbook”, which was left on the grave of her brother and brings it with her. Liesel is sent to a foster family in a small town and later she learns that her mother left her because she is a communist.

Her stepmother, Rosa Hubermann, is a strict but caring woman, her stepfather, Hans Hubermann, is a simple and kind-hearted man. Liesel’s bestfriend her neighbor, the boy Rudy Steiner and they go together to the school. When Hans discover that Liesel cannot read, he teaches her how to make sense of the letters. Liesel become an obsessed reader. During the “book burning” event in Nazi, the locals are forced to burn book in a bonfire. After the event, Liesel recovers one book for her and the Mayor’s wife Ilsa Hermann saw her. Meanwhile, Hans secretly hides a Jewish Max Vandenburg, who is the son of a deceased friend that saved his life in the war, in the basement of his house and Liesel become his friend. Max’s arrival and his suffering makes a change in Rosa for the better.

Liesel is surprised to see her courage and her softness. One day, Rosa asks Liesel to deliver laundry to the Mayor and Ilsa invites Liesel to go to her library and tells that she can visit her to read whenever she wants. Days passed by, Liesel caught reading by the mayor who not only puts a stop to her visits but fired out Rosa as their laundress. Max became dangerously ill because it’s too cold in the basement, Liesel helps him recover by reading to him at every spare moment, the books that is “borrowed” secretly from the mayors’s library. One day, while “borrowing” a book from the mayor’s library, Liesel is followed by Rudy. Rudy discovers the secret of Max, whose name he reads on the journal Max gave to Liesel for Christmas. Rudy guesses that Liesel is hiding something. Rudy throws the journal into the river and swim into the river to rescue the journal just to prove that he is trustworthy.

Soon, a local party member comes by to check Hubermann’s basement and they have to hide Max. While working, Hans sees a neighbor and friend named Lehman taken away by the soldiers because he is a Jew. Hans tries to convince the police that Lehman is a good man, but Hans name is taken by the soldiers and he is being push to the ground. Hans is worried that this incident will lead to a suspicion to his family and that Max is no longer safe in the basement, so he decided to send Max away. On the following day, Hans then receives a letter that he has been selected to join the German army and must leave right away. On the way home from school, Liesel believes that she will see then Max on the line of Jew forcibly marched through from and begins screaming by name.

She is thrown to sidewalk twice by German soldiers and finally gives up while returns home. On the other side, Hans was sent home because he got injure and they united for a short time. One night as they were asleep, the city is bombed by accident and the air raid sirens fail to go of. Hans, Rosa and Rudy’s family died. Liesel is scarf from the bombing because she fell asleep in the basement while writing in the journal given by Max. She sees her foster parents on the ground; she comes and hug them. Soldiers bring Rudy out of his house. Rudy has something to say for Liesel but then he died. Liesel passes out and one of the soldiers carries her to a stretcher. As she wakes up, she sees a book and picks it up. She then sees Mayor and Ilsa arrived. With Ilsa being the only friend, Liesel run to her and hugged her. Two years later, Liesel is working on the tailor shop owned by Rudy’s late father when Max suddenly appears. Liesel is overjoyed and she runs to hug him. The final scene is Liesel’s death in the age of 90, mentioning her husband, three children and grandchildren of what they’re life is in the place that they moved in with pictures of her past.

The Book Thief is a great, insightful and stimulating instantly-classic film. The Book Thief pull our heartstrings, makes us laugh and make even the most emotionless cry as they watch the movie. Markus Zusak’s novel is difficult material to adapt but the look of the film and the casting show us that the filmmakers know what they are doing. The movie makes no attempts to simplify or dismiss the difficult subject matter it deals with. There is no really escaping or cut the elements of World War ll amidst it is hard to film. The movie explore in a totally unique and fascinating way that it made us cry.

In the beginning of the story, Liesel cannot read or write and her foster father spends most of the night teaching her the alphabet and it is truly humble to read about a girl want nothing more than books. This movie tells us about the other side of pointless complains and how privileged we truly are to be able to read and write fluently. And also to the courage of the family who accept the Jew in their house is a brave decision that they’ve done in their lives that it is during the World War ll. So let’s be straight forward that the movie falls under the “Critical Approach: Marxism” because it takes place in Germany during the World War ll and this means that all of the Jew during that time were considered a “lower class”. It describes how the powerful people or people that are in the government dictates the ordinary people. The Jew’s were discriminated against the government as it is widely known.

Throughout the movie, the Jew’s in their town are taken away and this means that they could feel that they don’t have the right to live in that place and the soldiers destroyed their homes that is under the Hilter regime. It clearly shows the Marxism approach comparing the Germans as the superior and the Jew’s as the interior class. In the movie “The Book Thief” Jew’s are considered “unwanted” by the Nazis. Jew’s are held as they don’t have the place in the society. They are excommunicated from the society by the concept accustomed by Hitler’s administration. Liesel’s family don’t have the intention to murder the Jewish instead they are helping them. This reflects the difference of the unequal treatment between Germans and Jewish. On the other hand, using the power of being a mayor, he ordered to stop Liesel upon entering his library and fired out Rosa as laundress.

That’s how they look down the ordinary people. From this happenings in the movie we can picture out that the Mayor see Liesel as a slave that they will never be fair in level or degree of life that Liesel is only an ordinary girl and that they are superior. We can say that Hitler and the Mayor have similarities. And in this case, we can compare that the happenings during the World War ll and the happenings today is much similar. It’s because the administration in the past and the administration today is similar on how they manage their countries in such thing that they don’t see people fairly.

If you have the power or a position in the government, they feel like they are superior or above all the people and they see the ordinary people as their slaves where in fact the ordinary people are the reason why they have that position in the government. We can also draw a lesson in this movie that even in the heart of tragedy, being good is still possible. Throughout the movie, the character faced with difficult obstacles but still they managed to overcome because they have develop compassionate relationship with others. In the story shows that no one can live forever and that hope can be found in the darkest time and in the most unexpected places. We just have to keep in mind that helping people is not just only for people who have the authority. We all have to be fair.

Watching this movie can teach us a lot of lessons in life. Words are something that can be powerful. Also helping people is not just for the people who have the power instead we have to be fair for we are all destined in one way which is death. Being resilient and compassionate is a way how to be a good people living in this world full of judgements and inequality. The movie never fails to touch my heart as it made me realize that being a good and kind-hearted person deserves appreciation and respect than the person who has the capability to help but they didn’t do the will. One of the important lesson in the movie is that even in the middle of tragedy or in a situation of difficulties we can always be good because we are designed by God to be good and be able to feel mercy towards other people specially in times of need. We just need to figure out that everything we have in this world is just merely a small thing because time will come that we will die and we will leave everything in this world, so much better to help and be good while we are here alive.

Cite this page

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak: Book and Movie Analysis. (2021, Nov 29). Retrieved from

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak: Book and Movie Analysis

👋 Hi! I’m your smart assistant Amy!

Don’t know where to start? Type your requirements and I’ll connect you to an academic expert within 3 minutes.

get help with your assignment