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The Book Thief

Markus Zusak

Summary and Analysis Part 9: The Last Human Stranger: The Next Temptation

Summary

Liesel and Rudy go back to the window at the mayor's library. They find a plate of Christmas cookies that has been sitting out for two weeks, and Liesel has decided they were meant for her and Rudy. She goes inside and gets the cookies, and then she searches for a book. She picks out The Last Human Strangerand writes a thank you note. Before she leaves, Ilsa Hermann enters in a new bathrobe, one with a swastika embroidered on the breast pocket. Liesel then realizes that this library is Ilsa's room, not the mayor's. Frau Hermann says she and her son used to read in the library. Liesel likes knowing that the room and the books belong to Ilsa.


Analysis

Liesel feels closer to Frau Hermann after realizing that the library is hers. She recognizes that they both share this love for words and books, and it is more fitting that the library belongs to Frau Hermann and not the mayor. The swastika, though, embroidered on Fray Hermann's robe shows Liesel just how far the Nazi influence extends; it has permeated even the bathrooms of people's homes.