Character Analysis of Liesel Meminger in Markus Zusak’s The Book Thief

Last Updated: 15 Mar 2023
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In Markus Zusak’s The Book Thief, the character Liesel Meminger was a shy, heartbroken girl. She had to move to Himmel Street in Molching, Germany because of her parents‘ persecution in World War 11 Germany Her mother did not feel Liesel was safe with her anymore. During her time spent living with Rosa and Hans Hubermann she developed into a strong-willed survivor and a brave rescuer Liesel made many friends and was usually able to make the best out of what she was given Liesel transformed throughout the novel from a bystander to a rescuer to a survivor Liesel was a bystander because she was shy and observant It took her a long time to tell Hans about her deceased brother, Werner, which shows she was pretty shy and reserved.

This illustrates that it takes time for her to trust Later in the novel, Hans and Liesel went into the middle of the street where the Nazi party was burning books that seemed like threats to their power Here Liesel observed that Hitler must have been the one behind her father’s disappearance. Hitler had the power to control what people thought by the use of words. This highlights the fact Liesel is observant. Next, Liesel was shown as a rescuer because she was brave and compassionate. After making the discovery that Hitler was likely behind her parent's disappearance, she shouted that she hated Hitler. Her bravery was shown by this act because not many people would be brave enough to say such a thing aloud in that time period

Later, when Liesel was in mayor Hermann‘s library and she encountered a book with a name scribed on it she questioned the mayor‘s wife about the name and why it was written on the book when she discovered that the name, Johann Hermann, was Ilsa Hermann’s son who died years ago, she expressed her sympathy to Ilsa. By doing this, Liesel shows her compassion for others. Lastly, Liesel was a survivor because she was strong-willed and intelligent She has a strong will when she continuously showed up at Ilsa Hermann’s library and stole books to read. She enjoys reading and was determined to do it despite the danger. Liesel likes reading and writing books together. Liesel shows off her intelligence when she reads and writes. Liesel developed over the course of the story from a bystander to a rescuer to a survivor. She was a shy and observant bystander in the beginning and then turned into a brave and compassionate rescuer Finally, she shows her true colors which were her strong will and intelligence. These characteristics are what make Liesel a great dynamic character.

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Character Analysis of Liesel Meminger in Markus Zusak’s The Book Thief. (2023, Mar 15). Retrieved from

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