Compare and Contrast Essay on the Book Thief: Book and Movie

Paper Type:  Essay
Pages:  6
Wordcount:  1387 Words
Date:  2022-03-30


"The Book Thief" is all about a young girl called Liesel who currently is not living with her parents (Zusak 2016, Pg 4). Her mother sends the girl to live under the hands of Hans and Rosa. However, Liesel is not unhappy with unkind characters of Rosa. She is much comfortable with Hans of whom she claims to be kind and caring. Sad enough, before the transfer of Liesel to the new home, her brother dies. As a result, in the event of her brother's send-off, she picks a book that is lying alongside the grave. Immediately she collects the book she develops an interest to know whatever is the book. In the course of her life, she meets her friend Rudy, and at long last, she falls in love with him. While still in the relationship with Rudy, she shares much of her secrets concerning her family to him. In the end, Liesel realises that she hates Hitler because he is the cause of all her struggles.

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Both the book and the movie exhibit emotions from the readers and audience after the bombing of the Himmel streets. The book concentrates more on the personification of the death, and it uses the soreness to show a similar feeling to the readers. The event is evident since the narration of the demise converts into an emotional reflection as it approaches some of the characters. For example, when Rudy encounters the death, the writer pauses for a moment with horror grief and exclaims "oh, crucified Christ, Rudy". On the other hand, the movie dwells on haunting situation and dialogue to allow his audience feels the Liesel's griefs. It does not apply the death narration to show emotions. In fact in the film, the entire narration is not emotionally charged. However, it uses the sound to establish a moving tone which acts as a backdrop of Liesel discovery from the past experiences. Unlike the book, the movie is seen to depend more on Liesel and her conversation to bring a picture of death and all destruction that has happened. Similarly, just like in the novel, Liesel begs with a loud voice "come on, Jesse Owens" has she devotes herself to save Rudy. Most importantly, the part seems to be having a significant impact on the audience in the film. In fact, even with lack of narration, the cries of Liesel are enough to foster the whole emotions of the viewers (Johnson 2018, pg 245-261).

To explore the theme for courage, both the book and movie efficiently utilise the aspect of characterization (Luria 2017, N.P). In the book, all characters look flesh. Therefore, the reader can only study them by examining their actions concerning the death. Similarly, the film does a similar thing especially when she warns her parents about the Nazi's basements. Additionally, the movie applies tracking shots to hold determination and conviction of Liesel. In the book, there is much about the present and past of Max. He tells about his long dream of boxing Hitler. In fact, he develops an aspect of exercising regimen that always his time while still in Hubermann's basement. Max goes ahead to create two books of his own which he eventually gives to Liesel after he discovers the Liesel love. Therefore, it is in these homemade stories that we are able to tell the real characters and personality of Max. However, in the movie, none of the above stories features. Max issues an empty journal to Liesel rather than the homemade book. In the film, max appears almost unconscious, which makes him look flat a condition that depicts a one-dimensional character. Similarly, in the novel, Hans is punished for having given a piece of bread to a suffering Jew. He is forcefully asked to join the war effort due to his good-heartedness. Conversely, the aspect of good-heartedness and humanity does not feature in the movie. Instead, Hans is punished and pushed to the war after he tells about the good characters of the Jew man. "But he's a good man." It is entirely satirical when Hans offers a piece of bread to the stranger when he has nothing much to eat. However, the scenario makes the book more interesting to the public, unlike the movie.

In the novel, mayor and his wife suspend Rosa from offering laundry services since they want to show a picture that they are belt-tightening. On the other hand, the movie handles the case in a quite different way. For instance, the mayor appears to be human by controlling the emotion of his wife. He possibly hopes to protect the emotional state of the wife as he continues to see the strong bond that is growing between Liesel and Ilsa. Again, in the movie, Liesel exhibits her innocence. She admits positively when the mayor and his wife discontinue her duties. The change possibly makes Liesel more likeable a situation that makes the audience to feel more comfortable at the end of the movie when Isla comes for Liesel. Additionally, the two old children of Rosa and Hans are excluded in the book. In the book, Hans argues with about the neglect to join the Nazi Party. Instead, he proposes that Liesel should be studying the Mein Kamph. On the other hand, the two characters, Geoffrey Rush and Emily are featuring in the movie. For example, in the film, different other Nazi character creates the tensions which finally forces Hans to be a member of the Nazi before he is set to go and fight for them.

In both the book and the movie, Liesel's brother dies. Liesel is a young girl who is given up to Hans and Hubermann. She is much fond of Hans since he is kind and gentle unlike the wife, Rosa. Before she moves to her new home, her brother dies while still on the way. In the book and movie, Liesel attends the burial of her brother. It is during the burial session when she finds a book lying next to her brother's grave. She doesn't hesitate to pick the book. She creates a lot of interest to learn what the content of the book entails. Similarly, when still staying in Molching, she meets her best friend. The friend (Rudy Steiner) is very new to her. In fact, it is their first encounter with each other. The two starts stealing but Liesel steals food instead of food. In contrast, the movie is illustrating an instance where Liesel is taking more books unlike in the book. The event happens in both the book and the movie. However, some of the book titles mentioned in the film is much different with those mentioned in the book. In the book, Rudy understands that immediately Max vacates from the basement, the Hubermann were hiding the Jew man. In fact, Liesel refuses to explain further reason beyond the hiding of Max. Conversely, in the movie, When Liesel and Rudy meet as friends; she shares her love of literature with the Jewish man (Rudy) that her family is missing since it is hiding in a specific basement. Liesel goes ahead to give more and detailed information about the reasons for protecting Max. The discovery creates tensions and further manifests some emotional burdens that the war put to the children. In fact, it bonds the two friend (Rudy and Liesel), a situation that makes the end of the film to gut-wrenching (Ecke 2015, N.P).


Both the book and movie compare and contrast in various instances. For example, the two sources illustrate the aspect of emotions though they are in different ways. Additionally, they explain how the theme of courage manifests in the story the book thief. However, the subject of emotions and courage is clearer from the two departments.


Ecke, J., 2015. Spatializing the movie screen: how mainstream cinema is catching up on the formal potentialities of the comic book page. Comics as a nexus of cultures: essays on the interplay of media, disciplines and international perspectives,

Johnson, J.K., 2018. The visualization of the twisted tongue: Portrayals of stuttering in film, television, and comic books. The Journal of Popular Culture, 41(2), pp.245-261.

Luria, A.R., 2017. The mind of a mnemonist: A little book about a vast memory. Harvard University Press.

Zusak, M., Corduner, A. and Cresswell, S., 2016. The book thief. Listening Library.

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