What does Rudy never again ask Liesel in The Book Thief?

Quick answer:

Rudy never asks Liesel again to kiss him.

Expert Answers

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

After retrieving the book called The Whistler from the ice cold river for Liesel, Rudy, who has a crush on Liesel, would like to ask her for a kiss:

Rudy Steiner was scared of the book thief’s kiss. He must have longed for it so much. He must have loved her so incredibly hard. So hard that he would never ask for her lips again and would go to his grave without them.

It's never fully explained why Rudy is afraid to ask Liesel to kiss him again. It is possible that he values the friendship so much that he doesn't want to push her away by asking for more than she is willing to give. It is also possible that he wants to leave it up to her to make the decision. This is an instance of the usually impulsive, action-oriented Rudy showing restraint. This restraint shows the extent to which he esteems Liesel and the relationship he has with her.

Liesel does kiss Rudy on his "dusty" lips, getting on her hands and knees to do so, but only after he is lying dead. Death, the narrator, thinks that Rudy would have been pleased by this, even though he couldn't experience it.

Liesel greatly mourns Rudy's death. Her next-door neighbor on Himmel Street, he was also her close friend and comrade in despising the Nazis. He was one of the good guys in opposing what Hitler stood for, and Liesel only fully recognizes his worth after he has died.

See eNotes Ad-Free

Start your 48-hour free trial to get access to more than 30,000 additional guides and more than 350,000 Homework Help questions answered by our experts.

Get 48 Hours Free Access
Approved by eNotes Editorial