The Book Thief Questions and Answers
by Markus Zusak

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Can we judge the characters' morality when we haven't been in their positions in The Book Thief?

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Ashley Kannan eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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Even though we are not in their positions, I believe that we can offer insights into the characters' actions in The Book Thief.

There is a difference between "judging" and giving our own perspective. When we judge, it is a hardened statement as to right and wrong.  Judging silences any further discussion because of its finality.  This might be difficult to do because we are not in the character's predicament.  For example, it is difficult to judge someone's actions during the Holocaust as "right" or "wrong" because we will never know what it was to be placed in such a situation.

However, it is possible to render our own perception...

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