The Book Thief

The Book Thief

The Book Thief Part 8: The Thought of Rudy Naked Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
Death describes Rudy's experience of a week before, when he was taken out of class and medically examined. He is with two other boys, and they are all nervous about taking off their clothes in front of the doctors. The nurse talks about creating an advanced race of Germans. After the examination the boys overhear the doctor talking about which ones will be accepted. The story jumps to the present, and Rudy describes his experience to Liesel. For a few days Liesel can't help thinking of Rudy being examined naked.
The irony of this situation is that the boys are being evaluated to see if they fit the ideal of the "master race," but the evaluation itself makes them feel humiliated and small, not like proud Germans at all. This chapter introduces a more romantic element to Liesel and Rudy's relationship, as she keeps thinking of him naked. At the same time, the sterile, scientific tone recalls some of the medical horrors of the Nazis and their ideas of eugenics.
Themes
Death Theme Icon
Color, Beauty, and Ugliness Theme Icon