The Protagonist Liesel Meminger

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The protagonist of this book is Liesel Meminger. This is because in the beginning of the book she is very mean and an angry person but towards the end of the book she changes a lot and then she starts to care for others like her friends and her family and she would also do anything to help them. The antagonist is not in the book but because of consequences from his actions Adolf Hitler the antagonist because of the war and stuff like the holocaust. There is Death or basically the narrator because he tells the book though his view. Hans Hubermann is the foster dad of Liesel. Rosa Hubermann is the foster mom of Liesel. She works doing laundry and cleaning for rich people. Rudy Steiner is her best friend and he dies at the end. Also she has a brother but he dies in the beginning of the book. She has a mother who gives Liesel up for adoption because her husband got taken away for being a communist.

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The setting of the story in this fictional town is in the Hubermann Household. This becomes Liesel’s new home Hans and Rosa become her foster parents. The war plays a major role in the novel having first ripped Liesel’s family apart then brings her together with the Hubermanns, Rudy, and Max. It is an interesting point of view of World War II because it is told by Death but through the eyes of a child.


Death introduces himself as the narrator of the novel. The first time he saw the book thief he says he was on a train. The next time he saw her was when he came for a pilot who had crashed his plane. And the third time was after a bombing. He associates a color with each time he sees her. White, red, and black, the colors of the Nazi flag. Death then begins the story. Liesel and her mother and her brother Werner are traveling on a train to Munich when Werner suddenly dies. Liesel and her mother get off the train to bury the body, and Liesel steals a book from one of the gravediggers. She and her mother continue their journey to a town called Molching where Liesel will be raised by foster parents Hans and Rosa Hubermann. At first Liesel doesn’t like her foster parents, but Hans wins her over by teaching her to roll cigarettes for him. She meets and befriends a neighborhood boy named Rudy. and then Hans discovers that Liesel doesn’t know how to read, he begins teaching her the alphabet, and together they make their way through the book Liesel stole from the gravedigger. Liesel begins delivering laundry for Rosa. One of Rosa’s customers is the mayor’s wife Ilsa Hermann. After a while Frau Hermann tells Liesel she can’t afford to send out the laundry anymore. Liesel is furious because her family is already struggling to survive and the Hermanns have so much. As the war intensifies Nazi soldiers begin parading Jewish prisoners through town on their way to the concentration camp at Dachau. Hans sees an old man struggling to keep up with the group so he gives him a piece of bread. Nazi soldiers intervene and whip both the man and Hans. Hans realizes he has aroused suspicion and drawn attention to himself and Max is no longer safe in the basement. Following another air raid, Liesel and Rudy find an Allied fighter pilot who has crashed his plane. They arrive just in time to see him die. Death sees Liesel for the second time when he comes to collect the pilot’s soul. One night, while Liesel is in the basement editing her book, her neighborhood is bombed. Hans, Rosa, Rudy, and the rest of the neighbors are killed. When rescue workers pull Liesel out of the rubble, she finds Rudy’s corpse and gives him the kiss he always wanted.


Friendship is an important theme in The Book Thief. Liesel’s best friends Rudy Steiner and Max Vandenburg and provide support and entertainment and love during the difficult years of the war. With their help Liesel finds the strength to stand up to bullies and show compassion to the suffering even when it could get her in trouble.

Character Analysis:

Liesel is nine years old, almost ten, at the start of the novel. She is about fifteen toward the end of the novel when the bombs destroy her home and kill her loved ones. The book ends when she is an old woman and Death comes to take her soul. Liesel is the book thief. At the start of the book Liesel cannot read. She learns to read because of Hans. She then understands that there is great power in words and she hungers for them.

Death is the narrator. He is fascinated by humans and the colors of the world, but he struggles throughout the book to decipher how humans are capable of so much ugliness and so much beauty. He takes an interest in Liesel and her story and he believes that Liesel’s story is one of a handful of beautiful stories he possesses.

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The Protagonist Liesel Meminger. (2020, Apr 22). Retrieved December 7, 2022 , from

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