A Book Thief, an Accordion Player, and a Sky Stealer

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In the Book Thief, three characters, each from a different generation and background, collide in a small town in Germany. Hans Huberman, Max Vandenburg, and Liesel Meminger, makes sense of what society expects them to do and what they think is right. Their past keeps them from seeing the world in an oblivious state of mind like their friends and neighbors. They all have expectations to live up to, which they slowly break away from.

Liesel is expected to be wholly devoted to Hitler, to hate Jews and give her banned books to the Nationalist party. Max Vandenburg, is told to take punches lying down, to not fight back, and to give in to life or death without fighting for survival. As the man of the family, Hans Huberman, is supposed to join the nationalist party and fight for his country. In the end they do not do what is expected of them, instead they are themselves behind closed doors in a brainwashed town that would happily turn them in.

Liesel Meminger has lost everything. Her only remain of her old life and memories of her now-deceased brother and mother is the Grave Digger’s Handbook. She begins to read it with her Papa, they learn to read together, and they call it midnight class. As Germany starts to exchange in war, money is tight so Liesel only has a few books, so she begins to steal books. As she continues to grow up she is faced with different expectations from being a loyal member of the league of german girls and being good at soccer to keeping secrets about what happens behind closed doors at her house.

Max Vandenburg is Jewish, and he loves nothing more than a good fistfight. When he was growing up, Jews were said to prefer to openly take things, the abuse, the words and slurs, and hate, then work there way back up ton the top. When he was nine, he and his mother moved in with their uncle; a few years later his uncle was taken by illness and he welcomed death with open arms. Max vowed then when death decides to come for him he would not welcome it, instead, punch it in the face. That he would always fight back, and never lie down and take the punches of life. And when death does come to collect his dues, Max fights back he punches back and he comes back to fight another day.

Hans Huberman does not wave the flag of Nazi Germany proudly. He fought in world war one and one of his comrades was Jewish, and he saved his life, years later he hide his son from the Nazis. When the Nationalist party began writing slurs on Jewish house and storefronts, Hans painted over them. His Jewish friend’s store was ransacked causing him to lose his chance of joining the Nazis. Later in the book, he helps a dying jew in a parade. By doing this he sacrifices everything and has to send Max away.

When a sky stealer, a painter, and a book thief, come together in a small town in Germany, they create a bond that will last forever. They rebel against society’s standards, even if it’s behind the closed doors of the house on Himmel Street. Max Vandenburg, refuses to give in the fight when death comes knocking at his door, when everyone expects him too. Liesel Meminger, steals books but reads them to panicking children and grief-stricken mothers. Hans Huberman, waves his flag of Germany, and at the same time, he helps jews; from the smallest bit of kindness to risking his family. They are not heroes, they are just dreamers, for a better world.


Cite this paper

A Book Thief, an Accordion Player, and a Sky Stealer. (2021, Feb 16). Retrieved from https://samploon.com/a-book-thief-an-accordion-player-and-a-sky-stealer/



What does the accordion symbolize in The Book Thief?
The accordion symbolizes comfort and hope in The Book Thief. It serves as a reminder of the beauty and joy that can still be found in the midst of tragedy and despair.
What is Liesel's accordion and what does it symbolize?
Liesel's accordion is a symbol of her hope and her dreams. It is a reminder of her happy childhood memories and her love for music.
What is the sky stealer in The Book Thief?
The sky stealer is a plane that the protagonist, Liesel, sees during a bombing raid. Liesel is fascinated by the sky stealer and wonders what it is like to be up in the sky.
Why do they say Liesel's books are her accordion?
Slavery during the antebellum era was brutal and inhumane. Slaves were treated as property and were often subjected to physical and sexual abuse.
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