Summary and Analysis Part 3: Mein Kampf: The Mayor's Library


Liesel avoids the mayor's house at all costs because she suspects that the mayor's wife saw her steal the book from the bonfire. When Rosa makes her go there for the washing, Frau Hermann says nothing to her. Liesel believes that the mayor's wife hadn't, in fact, seen her take the book and is relieved. But Death reveals that Frau Hermann did see her and is only waiting. A few weeks later, Liesel returns to the house to pick up the washing. Frau Hermann motions for her to come inside. When Liesel hesitates, Frau Hermann goes back inside, returns to the door carrying a stack of books, and lures Liesel in. She takes Liesel to the library, a room full of shelves of books, and Liesel thinks it's the most beautiful thing she's ever seen.


Again, Liesel is overwhelmed by the power of words and books, which are able to tempt her despite her fear and anxiety about going into the mayor's house. Because Frau Hermann introduces Liesel to her large library, Frau Hermann can clearly sense the hold that books and words hold over Liesel. It is important to note that Frau Hermann, the wife of the town's leader, aligns herself with Liesel, the girl who stole an enemy book.

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After Liesel steals a book from the bonfire, what does the burning book against Liesel's chest symbolize?


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