In The Book Thief, compare and contrast the lives of Liesel and Max. How does Max's life give Liesel purpose? At what point do they become friends?

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The lives of Liesel and Max are similar in that both have been traumatized by loss by the time they meet. Those losses have made them wary, but they understand that they cannot survive on their own. Another similarity in their experience is that they have both found sanctuary through the Hubermanns taking them in. Their anxieties give them nightmares. Although everyone could be equally likely to die during a war, within the novel these characters receive special scrutiny from Death as a character.

Liesel is female and younger than Max. Her youth inhibits her understanding of the politics and anti-Semitism that surrounds her, though she understands that these affect everyone. By the time they meet, she has become somewhat accustomed to living with the Hubermanns, understanding that this is now her home. Max is far more vulnerable because the Nazi regime is targeting Jews, so his fear and insecurity make him consider his hiding out in the basement as temporary. Because of his age and...

(The entire section contains 4 answers and 939 words.)

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