What is Liesel’s “mountain” in “The Book Thief” by Markus Zusak?





I have an in-class essay to write in tomorrow, about the symbolism used in this quote:" They read through the early hours of morning, circling and writing the words she did not comprehend andturning the pages toward daylight. A few times, Papa nearly slept, succumbing to the itchy fatigue in his eyesand the wilting of his head. Liesel caught him out on each occasion, but she had neither the selflessness to allowhim to sleep nor the hide to be offended. She was a girl with a mountain to climb." If you have read "The Book Thief" and know about the conflicts and style Zusak includes in the book, please help me to answer: 1. what is the mountain? what does it symbolize? 2. who are her climbing partners ( who accompanies her/helps her/is involved in her "ascent" up the "mountain") 3. what is her greatest obstacle? 4. which point does she reach the summit of her mountain? 5. describe her descent. What does she discover at the foot of her mountain? And finally, how does this relate to our society as a whole? I thought that the mountain might describe the challenge learning to read, but the summit is unclear, when she might master reading, and her descent, well, she doesn't "unlearn" how to read, but maybe as she gains increased understanding her challenge reading decreases and the foot of her mountain might be when reading is a natural thing and she is back at normal life, but the mountain she has climbed is behind her. What are your thoughts on this? The instructor did say that there were multiple responses as long as I can back them up I can get full credit. Please respond sorry I wrote so much already.



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2 Answers to “What is Liesel’s “mountain” in “The Book Thief” by Markus Zusak?”

  1. tobyman says:

    1. the mountain is her goal and her struggle to read.2. papa3. the tough words and hiding the fact that she has books4. I assume that its when she’s at her biggest struggle, the peak of her teachings.5. I’d think the foot of the mountain is when she discovers the importance of her learning and actually reading fluently, to understand the significance of her perseverance.I personally like your answer. It sounds right to me! =) I basically gave my answer and it was very similar to yours, so I’d say its correct.In any case, whether I’m a nuisance or any help at all, good luck!

  2. fermis says:

    1.sry i have no ideamaybe happiness?2.her family(sry i read it a while ago so i dont really remember the names)her “papa”her “mama”her best friend (blonde dude who wants to kiss her*sniff sniff*)the jewish guy boxer person3.i guess racism would be the biggest obsticle4.not sure sorry5. ?6.our society as a whole huh?um well ussually i would love this Q but i really cnt think uhhhmaybe cause we destroy things?and we are always seeking happiness?im not surei really hoped i at least kinda helped a little….