Saturday, December 29, 2007

Completion of The Book Thief

Not quite a happy ending for Liesel Meminger. I won't go into specifics because I don't want to ruin the book, but a warning: it doesn't end happily. Well I guess in one circumstance it does, and that is that Max and Liesel are reunited after their long separation. This separation was caused by an act of Hans Hubberman, not a mean act, but a nice one. This act of kindness and bravery proved to be a very dangerous move on Hans' part, and it will end up tearing Hans from his family and Max from his place of safety. During a parade of Jews (where Jews, on their way to a concentration camp, are paraded through the streets of Munich) Hans steps in and gives one of the struggling Jews a piece of bread. Overwhelmed with thanks, the Jew drops to Hans' feet and thanks him over and over again. Then a soldier comes over to them. The Jew was whipped six times, and Hans four times. Realization hits Hans later when he realizes what could happen to him and his family, not to mention Max (the Jew hidden in his basement). Knowing that "they" will most likely come for him, Hans must make Max leave the house. Hans has shown himself to the public as a "Jew lover", and so his house would definitly be searched for hidden Jews. Hans begs Max's forgiveness, but Max merely says "You've done enough." (Zusak 398). Later on, Hans gets his punishment. He is drafted into the military and forced to clean up after air raids (not to worry though, he is sent home after some number of months with a broken leg. Who would have thought that a broken leg would be the best thing to happen to Hans?). All of this for giving a hungry, dying Jew a piece of stale bread. On that day, the Jews being paraded through the streets witnessed a miracle.

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