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The Book Thief

Markus Zusak

Summary and Analysis Part 4: The Standover Man: A Good Girl

Summary

It is November 1940. Max Vandenburg, 24 years old, stands in the Hubermann kitchen asking if Hans still plays the accordion, if he will still offer him help. Max is very weak, but when Liesel enters the kitchen, he tenses. Hans tells him that she is a good girl.


Analysis

In this chapter, Liesel discovers that she is going to have to keep the biggest secret yet in her young life. And, again, the power of words becomes apparent in how Hans says that Liesel is "a good girl." He really means that she can be trusted, that she will keep Max a secret, and that she will not be the cause of Max's discovery and death. "Good girl" expands to encompass all of these meanings, which reflects upon the many powers that words wield.