Theme Of Innocence In The Book Thief

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In both The Book Thief by Markus Zusak and Sold by Patricia McCormick, there is a common theme of loss of innocence. Both main characters, Liesel Meminger and Lakshmi, experience great change throughout their novels. Both make the transformation from young girls to matured women. Although they would still be legally considered children at the end of their novels, the two girls have gone through more than many adults have ever experienced.

When Liesel Meminger went to live with the Hubermanns, she did not expect that she would be the only sibling to survive the journey. The death of Werner Meminger was something that scarred Liesel for the rest of her life, and she was strongly affected by it the majority of her time on Himmel Street through
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Once in her brothel, The Happy House, Lakshmi is doomed to have her virginity taken from her. After fighting with Mumtaz for weeks, after several dozen of Mumtaz’s beatings, the woman running the Happiness house decides to let Lakshmi live. Lakshmi is not relieved, as one would expect her to be, but curious as to what will happen to her next. She finds out soon enough, when Mumtaz orders another Happiness House girl to drug Lakshmi using Lassi, a sweet yogurt drink. Once the Lassi had set in, Lakshmi was unable to move. Mumtaz brought in a strange man, the one that would take Lakshmi’s innocence from her forcefully: “You’re lucky… that Habib is your first one… You can tell the others that it was Habib” (McCormick, 120) Lakshmi didn’t understand what was happening, she was scared. She couldn’t move. Then she realizes. Once Habib makes his intentions quite clear by forcing himself on her, Lakshmi knows what has been done. What has been done cannot be erased. Her virginity, the last of her childhood innocence, is gone. She had been robbed by Habib, and there would be many more strange dirty men to come into her room and do the same as he had done. At this point, she has realized that this will be her life for a very long while. In Lakshmi’s culture, virginity is much more valuable than it is to us in America. We do value it, and try our best to keep it safe, but some here argue that it is just a concept, created by men to convince women that their first time is a special thing. In Nepal, it is what gives a girl her worth. If an unmarried girl’s virginity is taken from her, she is viewed as worthless and filthy by the eyes of the entire village, at risk of being disowned by their family. Lakshmi become aware that it could now be her that is disowned, disrespected, and she is

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