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Compassion in The Book Thief

            Ronald Reagan once clearly stated, "There are no easy answers, but there are simple answers. We must have the courage to do what we know is morally right." In Markus Zusak's The Book Thief, this idea of courage is expressed through the character Hans Hubermann, whose compassionate nature rejects the dreadful influence of Hitler and the Nazi party. His nature is conveyed through many simple acts of compassion, which greatly influence those around him. In a time of misery and destruction, Hans represents the need for compassion as seen through his treatment of Liesel, his accounts of accordion playing and his willingness to help the Jews.
             Hans shows abundant compassion to his new foster daughter Liesel as he is very gentle and loving towards her. Liesel see's the compassion of Hans when she, "observed the strangeness of her foster father's eyes. They were made of kindness, and silver. [] Upon seeing those eyes, understood that Hans Hubermann was worth a lot" (Zusak, 34). Here Liesel sees beyond the strangeness of her new foster father and she understands that he is 'worth a lot'. Ultimately, she knows that Hans is a good man, who is going to be a caring foster father despite the terrible circumstances that led her to be a foster child. The second account is where Hans reaches out to lisle and concern to her, "He looked over at Liesel and winked. She would have no trouble calling him Papa" (35). Even though it was a simple gesture, he was able to ease Lisle through his light-hearted personality even though they lived in a world of chaos. This helped her truly picture this man as her father. Hans showed he loved her when he would come, "in every night and sat with her. The first couple times he simply stayed-a stranger to kill the aloneness. .
             A few nights after that, he whispered, "Shh, I'm here, its all right." [] Hans Huberman would always appear mid-scream and he would not leave" (36).

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