I have included this quote because it shows there is a previous relationship between Max and Hans. By bringing up the accordion, it evokes the relationship between Hans and Erik, Max's father. These words foreshadow the father-son like relationship that will develop between Hans and Max. Hans will do anything to save and protect Max, even risk his life!
"Now I think we are friends, this girl and me. On her birthday it was she who gave a gift to me."
The book Max wrote Liesel is extremely special, and symbolizes their tight bond and relationship. These are lines from, "The Standover Man," Max's loving gift to Liesel on his birthday.
"When death captures me," the boy vowed, "he will feel my fist in his face."
This quote symbolizes Max's strong and determined character. Max desires to live and his fighting spirit probably has a lot to do with his ultimate survival.
" In the basement of 33 Himmel Street, Max Vandenburg could feel the fists of the entire nation. One by one they climbed into the ring and beat him down."
This quote summarizes exactly how Max perceives the majority of German people.. The Holocaust would have never been carried out in the way it was, without the consent of the majority of German people. Max feels extremely alone; it is him against an entire nation!
"He wanted to walk out – Lord how he wanted to (or at least he wanted to want to) – but he knew he wouldn't. It was much the same as the way he left his family in Stuttgart, under a veil of fabricated loyalty. To live. Living was living. The price was guilt and shame."
Max had to pay the price of feeling guilty for the rest of his life in order to survive!
"How could he show up and ask people to risk their lives for him? How could he be so selfish?"
I have included this quote, because it shows Max's psychological state and how most of his psychological suffering involves guilt. Anyone he comes in contact with will instantly become a criminal. This haunts Max and takes an enormous toll on his psyche.
" The man did not breathe. He did not move. Yet, somehow, he traveled from the doorway to the bed and was under the covers."
This passage highlights Max's suffering due to two years of hiding in the dark. Max has become an expert at hiding and pretending not to exist.
" Look proud, he advised himself. You cannot look afraid. Read the book. Smile at it. It's a great book – the greatest book you've ever read. Come on, Max, you're only a few hours away."
This shows Max's tremendous amount of courage and strength. He has been in hiding for two years and is making an ultimate voyage of courage by being in public. Ironically, Hitler's book is the only thing between him and a complete break down.
"During that week, Max had cut out a collection of pages from Mein Kampf and painted over them in white… When they were all dry, the hard part began… he formulated the words in his head till he could recount them without error. Only then, on the paper that had bubbled and humped under the stress of drying paint, did he begin to write the story."
This quote from: Part 4: Pages in the Basement, is a significant part of the story. This book Max wrote for Liesel was so beautiful, yet so much ugliness and hatred lay beneath the painted pages. The fact Max thought hard about the words to write and made such an effort to paint over the Mein Kampt shows how special Liesel is to him!
WHAT MAX WOULD SAY TO ME:
When life gets tough, you must keep on fighting. Stay strong, and hopeful, and you will make it through anything!
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