What is Max haunted by in The Book Thief? Why is he pleading with Liesel when he wakes up?

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

Max is haunted by memories of his family after he leaves home at their urging. He feels guilty over his belief that he abandoned them on Kristallnacht, when he fled to safety with his friend Walter, who is not Jewish. As conditions worsen for the Jews, Walter helps him move...

Unlock
This Answer Now

Start your 48-hour free trial to unlock this answer and thousands more. Enjoy eNotes ad-free and cancel anytime.

Start your 48-Hour Free Trial

Max is haunted by memories of his family after he leaves home at their urging. He feels guilty over his belief that he abandoned them on Kristallnacht, when he fled to safety with his friend Walter, who is not Jewish. As conditions worsen for the Jews, Walter helps him move on to the Hubermanns'. Once he is safe in their home, Max sleeps for three days. As Liesel watches over him, she hears him murmur their names, along with that of Hitler, and he cries out "No." When he tightly clutches her arm and cries out “Please,” she calls to Hans, who comes and wakes him up. His pleas were apparently to the Nazi soldiers not to take his family away.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team