|Book 8 Presentation
By: Mohammed, Jack, Kyle
Thursday, Oct 10th
Part A: Chapter Summary
The beginning of book eight starts with Rudy playing dominos with his younger sisters while the two Nazis are talking about enlisting Rudy to go to war school; Rudy’s parents refused and consequences followed, Alex Steiner was drafted into war and Rudy and two other boys were sent to a doctor where they are made to undress and get examined. Afterwards Rudy told Liesel about it and she couldn’t stop thinking about him naked, which shows Liesel’s affection for Rudy. Afterwards Hans finally receives his punishment from the Nazis for feeding bread to the Jews. The punishment comes as a letter that informs Hans that he must go to war along with Rudy’s dad. Right before Hans goes to war he goes drinking with Alex Steiner to try and drown their worries in alcohol. The next day Liesel and Rosa says farewell to Hans as he leaves on the train, heading to war. Later that night we finds Rosa, holding, yet not playing the accordion since she misses Hans so much that she is afraid to stir up old memories of her husband. Hans and Steiner did not end up fighting the war; Alex was sent to mend uniforms in Austria and Hans was sent to cleanup air raids while bombs were being released. During one of the air raids Hans finds the corpse of Rudy, after which he begins to write a letter to Liesel to inform her. There was one more parade in the town of Molching, this time Liesel and Rudy made a plan to feed the passing Jews bread, but unlike Hans, they decided to just throw the bread then runaway after. This really proves Liesel and Rudy’s hatred for Hitler and his propaganda. A couple days before Christmas, Rosa finally decides to give Liesel the sketchbook that Max made for her. In that sketchbook, Liesel’s favourite story was the Word Shaker because it taught Liesel that she controlled the power of words. During Christmas, Liesel takes Rudy to his father’s shop and gives one of his father’s suits to Rudy as a Christmas gift, she is tempted to kiss Rudy but she doesn’t.
Part B: Chapter Analysis
During this chapter Hans Hubermann finally receives his punishment for giving bread to the Jewish prisoner. The punishment for this act of treason was that he was forced to go to war. However he was not a part of the front line, he was in the Air Raid Special Unit, and this consisted of cleaning up the damage that the bombs did.
Liesel has been growing up too fast for her age; she has lost many of her loved ones over her short life. She is starting to grow weary of her sadness, and she tries to convey her feelings through the words in her imagination. Liesel is pretending that Hans and Max are still there to try and mask her sorrow.
Throughout this chapter we see Rudy grow up into his own person, he is connecting the pieces of the puzzle from his life. He is also taking his newfound knowledge and acting upon it, for example he and Liesel went to feed the Jewish prisoners during the parade. We also learn that Rudy’s performance in school and the Hitler Youth are attracting the attention of the Nazi’s. This is foreshadowing that at some point, Rudy will get caught up in the war one way or another.
Hyperboles were used in this chapter as a literary devices, an example of a hyperbole in this chapter would be “Words like compulsory and duty were beaten into the page “(418). This is a Hyperbole since the words were not actually getting beaten into the page.
Symbolism - “A pile of paper the height of a human stands casually by the door. It could easily be smoking” (418). The stack of paper represents all the soldiers drafted into the war, and since most of those individuals are going to die, the piles appears to be smoking in Liesel’s imagination. This symbol is also powerful because it makes you wonder about what the pile of papers true meaning is.
Imagery – Zusak is very talented at describing scenes of the book using exquisite examples of imagery. When Liesel was running away from the soldiers after feeding the Jews bread, “…the taste of Christmas needles chimed inside her lungs” (441).” This is imagery because it’s appealing to the readers senses; it ties in Christmas to the verb chime, which is often associated with the Christmas holidays, giving the reader the illusion that there are bells ringing in the air as Liesel runs away.
The thematic topic of this chapter is defiance. Liesel and Rudy show defiance by standing up to Hitler’s ideals and giving Jews bread. This theme is important since Liesel and Rudy show bravery by defying Hitler even after they saw what happened to Hans after he gave the Jew bread. Their act of treason also shows that Liesel and Rudy are starting to mature and understand that all their hardships and problems came from Hitler and his propaganda. Hans inspired Liesel and Rudy to act on their hatred for Hitler and rebel against him. They also helped the Jewish people by giving them bread and potentially saving their lives. In this chapter defiance means a lot because it is showing a change in Liesel from despising Hitler to actually acting upon that hatred.
Part C: Key Quotations
“The sky was soft today, Max. The clouds are so soft and sad, and….and it’s cold, Max. It’s so cold” (419). This quotation is key to the story because it shows her loneliness without her best friend Max and her father Hans. It also shows that she is worried about Max and is pondering what is happening to him.
“Could you look after my accordion, Liesel? I decided not to take it” (424). This is a powerful quote because it shows that the accordion is a symbol for his happiness and leaving it behind shows that he is trying to leave his happiness with Liesel. Also it shows that he thinks he is not going to survive the war.
“The enemy isn’t over the hill or in any specific direction. It’s all around” (432). this quote represents how dangerous and devastating the bombs are. This is an important quote because it shows Hans’ chances of survival are lean.
Part D: Thinking Questions
How do you think Hans Hubermann feels about finding the corpse of Rudy?
Do you think Rudy and Liesel will defy Hitler even more, and do you think they will get caught?
Why do you think Liesel likes the “Word Shaker” so much?