The Book Thief, by Markus Zusak

November 11, 2021 by Essay Writer

In the novel of The Book Thief, by Markus Zusak, the protagonist expresses the interpretation of freedom that was allowed for the Germans and Jews during that time. Now in a biography of Olympic runner, Jesse Owens, reveals how much he pursued happiness even through the discrimination. Freedom comes at a time when a person is able to make their own decisions with responsibility and limitations.

To be free could go many different ways simply because of a race, skin color, or even one’s beliefs, but it’s said to be the same for everyone. It’s the right to act, speak or think one way without having to be controlled, as well as being able to express yourself freely as an individual and to pursue happiness.

The protagonist, Liesel, in The Book Thief has difficulty talking about the situation with the Nazi’s and Jews when she wants to simply understand, why it’s all necessary? She doesn’t approve of how they’re being treated by Hitler and how she has to live with it. She can’t even express how she feels or what she thinks, limiting what’s also called freedom of speech. Her father Hans, warns her she’d get into trouble if she continues to think of that way, “He slapped Liesel Meminger squarely in the face (Zusak ).” By Liesel getting slapped, it put some sense into her making her realize it’s important to keep quiet of the serious situation. It’s difficult for her because she’s young, confused and is simply trying to understand the situation when she doesn’t. She’s unable to express her emotions and opinions because of what could happen to her and the consequences she’d have to face it she does. Clearly, she’s lacking her freedom here, when freedom is being able to do all the things she can’t.

In the biography of Olympic runner, Jesse Owens, it reveals how he pushed through all the criticism and discrimination. At the end of all, he went through he was focused on being an individual who loved running freely, without a care of what anyone thought. During his time of running for the Olympics and playing for a baseball league, he was able to pursue happiness from it. Even though the era at the time with the Nazi’s, which was also during World War II. “supporting his infamous theory that the Aryan race was superior to all other races ( )”. Jesse wanted to defy all odds knowing Hitler wanted to prove his superiority. To be free, meant to be your own individual and pursue your happiness. This is exactly what Jesse accomplished.

To be free could go many different ways simply because of a race, skin color, or even one’s beliefs, no one truly has freedom. Our actions, or speech, and even the way we think are all restricted by the law as well. And even if there is no law, we are still restricted by reality and ourselves. Why? Because of society and how we’re all portrayed and bashed at for believing in something or commenting your thoughts and opinions on. Even when we’re supposed to have these “freedoms”, there are still people that are basically shunned. “Some example from some reading that we’ve read in the past.” Such as the Jewish people, they wanted nothing but freedom from all the Nazis. Wanted to be at peace, living how they want to with loved ones and enjoying life how it should be spent.

Freedom is about having no constraints. No feelings to be guided on, no reason to follow, no natural nor social law to obey. Because what we wanted as freedom, we feel like the bird looking to escape from its cage. When the opportunity to be free arrives, has nothing to do. But to be truly free is not about freedom, but liberty. We made freedom as our goal to guide our hands to make the righteous thing, but we cannot enjoy true freedom but be truly free by liberty. Then, liberty is what we can do according to our natural and social laws. Liberty is what a free man has in his free society, not freedom because we are servants of our reason and feelings, but free in liberty as the law and order want.

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