The Book Thief

The Book Thief

The Book Thief Part 2: The Joy of Cigarettes Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
By the end of 1939 Liesel is starting to feel at home on Himmel Street, and she loves Hans (her Papa now), Rudy (sometimes), and even Rosa. She starts to build a concept of achieving happiness, and part of it hinges on finishing The Grave Digger's Handbook.
The inner world of a child can define happiness through such small things – this will be brutally juxtaposed with the horrors the adult world can inflict.
Themes
Death Theme Icon
Books Theme Icon
One night Liesel and Hans stay up until dawn and finish the book at last. When they are done Hans points out the colors of the sky, which Death admires him for. Liesel finally reveals her brother's name, Werner, to Hans.
The completion of the book is a turning point for Liesel's growth. Many of the sympathetic characters share Death's love of the sky and noticing color at all times.
Themes
Books Theme Icon
Color, Beauty, and Ugliness Theme Icon
For the rest of her school term Liesel keeps her head down and practices her reading, and eventually Sister Maria's anger with her subsides. They have a Christmas break, and the Hubermann's children come home. Liesel doesn't expect any presents, but Hans gives her two books: Faust the Dog and The Lighthouse. She will read them many times over.
Books are now Liesel's most precious possessions. The household is poor and she doesn't have a lot of material things, so they become that much more important. These books will be less crucial than others, but they are still a sign of Hans's love.
Themes
Books Theme Icon
A few days after Christmas Liesel asks Hans and Rosa how they afforded two books, and they tell her that Hans traded his cigarette rations for them. Rosa complains that he never gets anything for her, and the next day Hans brings her some eggs. It is a time of happiness in the house, but it will be short-lived.
Death often describes happy times and then undercuts them with grim foreshadowing. His very presence is a reminder that this story can only end in tragedy.
Themes
Death Theme Icon
Books Theme Icon
Get the entire The Book Thief LitChart as a printable PDF.
The book thief.pdf.medium