The Morality Of Fate In The Book Thief

Decent Essays
Most characters in The Book Thief are naïve to the fact that one’s degree of morality seems to work both against and for people regarding their fate. Sometimes good people suffer while bad people benefit; sometimes bad people live while good people die. Fate, however, does not take morality into account. Instead, it is an unbiased, random phenomenon. Being one of high moral standing does not necessarily provide protection. Hans, Liesel, and Rudy all exhibit immense naiveté when it comes to the morality of humankind—especially how it can affect one’s fate.
With this naiveté in existence, all of these characters consistently put others before themselves—even if their selflessness may actually put them in danger. Despite each of their high levels
…show more content…
His intention is to merely do what is right. He empathizes with those who are oppressed by the immoral and tends to be kind without thinking twice about it—especially with Jews. This would normally be an acceptable thing to do, but not in Nazi Germany where acts of kindness toward Jews could mean death. Hans’s need to be kind to others appears to be greatly due to the fact that his own life was saved by someone else’s decisions. Hans owes Erik Vandenberg his life. He attempts through acts of kindness to repay the debt that he cannot repay to Erik Vandenberg …show more content…
In this instance, he truly proves how naïve he is. He takes his son’s words of caution and proceeds to make two enormous mistakes. Death explains that the first mistake Hans made was punching the door to the Nazi Party office and claiming to one of the members that he could “no longer join” the Nazi Party. The second mistake was when Hans painted over another Jewish slur (Zusak, 180).
Hans’s first mistake, despite being an act of kindness, ironically leads to Max’s demise. This chain of events ultimately results in Max leaving the safety of the basement and later being captured and sent to a concentration camp. Another act of kindness that led to another’s ill fortune was when Hans gave up his spot on the bus for Reinhold Zucker, and Zucker ends up dying in the bus accident while Hans remains relatively unscathed.
Hans is also drafted into the German Army as a punishment for his kindness toward Jews. Through Hans’s experience as a member of the Air Raid Special Unit, the true randomness of fate is clearly exhibited. Adults—young and old—and innocent children are dead due to the immorality of Nazi Germany. Fate does not care what kind of person you are. Those who are immoral can influence fate just as significantly as those who are

Related Documents

  • Decent Essays

    He states his denial of the party to his family frequently: "Mistakes? I've made many mistakes in my life, but not joining the Nazi Party isn't one of them" (Zusak 104). This explicitly presents how Hans trusts that the Nazi party beliefs are wrong. I also know that Hans shows favor towards Jews because in World War I a Jew saved his life. To repay his debt to the Jew who saved his life Hans takes in his savior’s son.…

    • 760 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    Through the use of language and in particular, metaphors Bruno is displayed to be a naive onlooker of World War Two and mispronounces commonly used words among the germans. As Bruno is oblivious and uneducated of knowing on what heinous things the Nazis performed, he continuously referred to the Führer (leader, meaning Hitler) as “the Fury”. This is a metaphor as Hitler was truly a crazy, delusional, furious man specifically towards Jews. Additionally, the camp near house the family lived in was named Auschwitz, because of this Bruno hears it continuously and mispronounces it as “Out-With”. His accidental statement can furthermore be used a metaphor as Auschwitz murdered millions of Jews intending the quote as “Out-With” the Jewish race.…

    • 712 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    Milgram’s point was “to extricate himself from this plight, the subject must make a clear break with authority” (693). During the Holocaust the Germans believed what they were doing by killing the Jews was right because they were led by Hitler to believe they were evil and needed to die. In the article the “Price of Obedience” by authors William Henry III, James O. Jackson, and Kanta Stanchina a guardsman was tired in 1989 for following “shoot to kill” orders when a man attempted to flee and escape West Germany. The authors state “in the eyes of Heinrich’s supervisors his actions were not merely legal but commendable”…

    • 1105 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    He had a strong need to please his superiors and was seen as invincible to his fellow soldiers. However, he was later wounded by a shell fragment and had to take leave to stay in the hospital. After his recovery, he was assigned to light duty in Munich, during his deployment there “He was appalled at the apathy and anti-war sentiment among German civilians. He blames the Jews for much of this and saw them as conspiring to spread unrest and undermine the German war effort.” (“Hitler in World War I”). He thought the Jews were “impure products of crossbreeding among the peoples of the Middle East.” (Bankston).…

    • 892 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    Humanity begins to collapse as soldiers approach innocent families, kids, babies, and elderly and exterminate them for being a nuisance to the world. The idea of the destruction to a certain ethnicity is not needed. The extermination done by soldiers goes against the human rights. The humanity in people disappears as they listen to the words of a man, and decide that killing their own species is justified. The unfortunate and unrealistic idea of Hitler became reality, and tore the Jew’s privacy, faith, beliefs, and life.…

    • 1956 Words
    • 8 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    This shows Death is kind to humans because he was holding Liesel’s brother’s soul Werner before he let it go because he actually cared and he didn't feel like it was right so he held it so he didn't have to feel as bad. He doesn't like his job so when he does have to do it, he tries to be gentle and…

    • 858 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    It has done nothing but cause suffering and bring misfortune. If the idea of justice is so corrupt, why have it? The answer is simple, it is because even though there are far too many people in this world who have misconstrued the meaning of justice, there are so many more that do not. Those who would deliver an appropriate for a crime but with the intent to help them if possible. The ones who chose not to shot the aslant chasing them.…

    • 1657 Words
    • 7 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    Terrible tragedies impact virtuous people every day, seemingly without justification. Although these horrific occurrences have no apparent cause—these people may not have committed a wrongdoing or any otherwise immoral act to deserve such a punishment—they occur anyway, subjecting the unfortunate victims to unfair tragedy. The inability of humanity to find reason behind these unjust events relates to the philosophical school of absurdism, and in particular, the amorality of the universe, a key concept within absurdism. The universe is indifferent to all aspects of human morality and occurrences happen without discernible reason; however, these irrational events are difficult for society to accept. This notion occurs in Albert Camus’ novel The…

    • 1673 Words
    • 7 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    Unfortunately, however, Milgram’s experiment is heavily criticized by some, who discredit its findings entirely--to no avail. The lessons behind Milgram’s experiment cannot be shaken. Obviously the experiment is drastically different from a genocide like the Holocaust. German soldiers led lines of naked Jews to their deaths in gas chambers at grimy concentration camps across Europe while Milgram’s subjects were merely asked to flip a switch and shock a man on the other side of the wall. German soldiers watched their victims die while Milgrim’s subjects were assured by the experimenter that the shocks “may be painful, but they’re not dangerous” (1).…

    • 1973 Words
    • 8 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    In daily life, crimes that humans consider horrible, such as rape or murder, occur consistently to many innocent people. These forms of crime also happen to “good” people. No one can truly know if there will ever be a universal act performed that “evens out” the occurrence of such horrible events. There even lies a major universal “unfairness” in the fact that even though the likelihood of the existence of alien life is high, humanity still seems to be alone in this universe, a singular beacon in an unforgiving void of absurdity. In fact, one can point to the struggle against daily absurdity and the human obsession with having control over their lives as factors that prove the true absurdity of life.…

    • 1470 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Decent Essays