The Book Thief

The Book Thief


Markus Zusak

Teachers and parents! Our Teacher Edition on The Book Thief makes teaching easy.

The Book Thief: Part 8: The Thought of Rudy Naked 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.
Death Theme Icon
Color, Beauty, and Ugliness Theme Icon