This essay has been submitted by a student. This is not an example of the work written by professional essay writers.

Theme of Courage in The Book Thief

downloadDownload printPrint

Remember! This is just a sample.

You can get your custom paper by one of our expert writers.

Get custom essay

121 writers online

Download PDF

Throughout the years, humans have been known to stand up for what they believe in. As many people know, history tends to repeat itself. In the novel The Book Thief, written by Markus Zusak, he uses characters to repetitively show acts of courage in the face of government tyranny. The characters in the book choose to do selfless acts of kindness for others. This inturn puts the characters in jeopardy. They not only face scrutiny by others, but they face being executed by the fuhrer. People display courage because they care about humanity. People are human, and are morally obligated to help others in A time of need.

The strongest example of characters showing courage and compassion in A time of need can be found on page 195-196: Han’s willingness to stand up for what he believes in, despite the harm that it brings to him and his family is courageous. Throughout the story, Hans is constantly put in situations that allow him to display his courage. In each situation his desire to care for fellow human beings wins out over the cruelty and hatred displayed by those around him. “He must already hate me, huh? I don’t think so. He gave me money didn’t he. He said, “A promise is a promise.”” (Zusak,204) In this quote, Max already assumes Hans dislikes him. He then realizes that Hans is taking A huge risk by taking him in. Hans disregards what could happen to not only himself, but his whole family if he is caught. Rosa makes food for him, Liesel gathers newspapers for him, and Hans makes A home for him. Max then goes to move in with the Hubermans, and later, makes A new friend. This example supports the thesis because Hans is risking losing everything, all to allow A jew to find solace during the war.

Courage is shown many times by Liesel. The most prominent examples of her displaying courage is when she fakes an injury while playing soccer so that she can warn Mama and Papa about the Nazi officers coming to inspect basements. “He picked her up and helped her home. Once inside, Liesel gave Hans the information about the NSDAP inspection.” This is an example of courage because Liesel was willing to put herself into harm’s way in order to protect her family, and her friend Max. This went against all of the Nazi propaganda that she was surrounded by on a daily basis.The secont most prominent connection between Liesel and the thesis is when Liesel shows courage when she read from the book The Whistler in the basement during the first air raid. “For at least twenty minutes, she handed out the story. The youngest kids were soothed by her voice, and everyone else saw visions of the whistler runnin from the crime scene.” This demonstrates courage, because despite being afraid of what might happen to her and the others that were hiding in the basement with her, she found the strength to collect herself and put aside her own fear in an effort to make everyone else feel solace, and less afraid.

Another way courage is shown in the novel, is when Max traveled from Stuttgart to Himmel Street. “When he was pushed out by the rest of his family, the relief struggled inside him like an obscenity. It was something he didn’t want to feel, but nonetheless, he felt it with such gusto, it made him want to throw up. How could he?”. This quote about Max and his family show courage because he is willing to leave his family to their fate in order to, hopefully, survive WW2. Although he trusts his friend Walter Kugler, going into hiding is fraught with danger, and he could be caught at any moment. This relates to the theme, because overcoming his fear of what might happen, and of losing those that he cares for most, shows courage.

Zusak conveyed courage as a central theme in The book thief, to let the audience know that humans are willing to put the odds against them in order to do the moral thing. Characters in the novel repetitively display heroic acts of courage, and by doing so they risk their own life. This concept about how courage is in each individual, lets people know that there is good in the world. It is rudimentary in facing adversity, whether it be tyrannical, emotional, or spiritual.  

Remember: This is just a sample from a fellow student.

Your time is important. Let us write you an essay from scratch

experts 450+ experts on 30 subjects ready to help you just now

delivery Starting from 3 hours delivery

Find Free Essays

We provide you with original essay samples, perfect formatting and styling

Cite this Essay

To export a reference to this article please select a referencing style below:

Theme Of Courage In The Book Thief. (2022, February 10). GradesFixer. Retrieved July 7, 2022, from
“Theme Of Courage In The Book Thief.” GradesFixer, 10 Feb. 2022,
Theme Of Courage In The Book Thief. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 7 Jul. 2022].
Theme Of Courage In The Book Thief [Internet]. GradesFixer. 2022 Feb 10 [cited 2022 Jul 7]. Available from:
copy to clipboard

Sorry, copying is not allowed on our website. If you’d like this or any other sample, we’ll happily email it to you.

    By clicking “Send”, you agree to our Terms of service and Privacy statement. We will occasionally send you account related emails.


    Attention! This essay is not unique. You can get a 100% Plagiarism-FREE one in 30 sec

    Receive a 100% plagiarism-free essay on your email just for $4.99
    get unique paper
    *Public papers are open and may contain not unique content
    download public sample

    Sorry, we could not paraphrase this essay. Our professional writers can rewrite it and get you a unique paper.



    Please check your inbox.

    Want us to write one just for you? We can custom edit this essay into an original, 100% plagiarism free essay.

    thanks-icon Order now

    Hi there!

    Are you interested in getting a customized paper?

    Check it out!
    Don't use plagiarized sources. Get your custom essay. Get custom paper

    Haven't found the right essay?

    Get an expert to write you the one you need!


    Professional writers and researchers


    Sources and citation are provided


    3 hour delivery