Liesel:

At the beginning of the book we learn that Liesel is confused and lost amid the crowds of the train station due to the death of her brother and her mother’s abandonment. She is lost within herself as well as she struggles to deal with her pain. Once Liesel is moved to her new foster home she refuses to go in and cries for the loss of her family; “Liesel would not get out of the car” this shows how stubborn she was when she first arrived at the Hubermanns and it makes me realize how much she changed and how happy Liesel became with them, something which previously she never would have imagined to happen. Once Liesel begins to attend school and explore her neighbourhood with her new found friend Rudy, her love for reading books begins to grow this is mostly fueled by her book thievery but also her learning to read at her new school and her foster father Hans reading to her every night after she awakes from her nightmares. At this point Liesel begins to settle in and appreciate the love that has been given to her. However it takes her a few weeks to wash, which in the end was the one thing that never changed. For when Liesel’s second family is taken from her she does the same, dragging the silt and dust of her house across the ground as she tries to come to terms with another devastating loss.

 

Hans:

Right through the entire text Hans Hubermann is always a kind and loving Papa to Liesel and his unconditional love is what keeps her going in times of trouble. However at the start Hans is hesitant at helping Liesel as Rosa is always telling him otherwise, it is not until later in the text where Hans begins to defy his wife and do things such as read books to Liesel at night and comfort her;  “Shhh, I’m here, it’s all right.” The arrival of Liesel gave Hans new strength and the opportunity to free himself from the loving tyrant that was Rosa. This made him a more adventurous and happy man who played his accordion in the evening and waas inspired to write a dictionary in the basement. However this defiance may have led to his eventual conscription, as he stands up to an SS officer who is removing a Jewish man from his shop. This shows how much Hans has changed, from the quiet obeying husband to a loving Papa who is willing to stand up for a friend, regardless of the cost. Soon Max Vandenburg turns up at the Hubermanns front door and the stress and high stakes that come with hiding a jew turns Hans into an anxious and worried man who has to deal with the possibility of being found out, which would result in his precious family being taken away from him.

 

Rosa:

For almost half the book Rosa is portrayed as a cruel and stubborn lady who does not care much about Liesel but only the cleanliness of her clothes and the amount of money she brings home from her new job as a laundry collector. However this is not the case;  “she did love Liesel Meminger. Her way of showing it just happened to be strange.” As Rosa begins to know liesel, more and more affection is shown towards her and Rosa begins to take on the role of many mothers around the world, more serious than Papa but loves you more than you know and is always there to look after you. Rosa still conserves most of her emotions (except the ones that involve anger) and is still the household lawmaker, however she grows a soft spot for liesel and even her “arschloch” husband. This is seen when the family have a snowball fight in the basement with Max and instead of berating them, Rosa joins in. When Hans leaves for the war Rosa is devastated and finally shows sadness in the form of sobbing over his accordian. Banter

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