Times of distress can unveil various positive and negative aspects of human nature, especially when those periods are caused by war. In The Book Thief, Markus Zusak utilizes Liesel, his central character, and her struggles to accurately depict the poignant journey experienced by humans during times of conflict. Although Liesel is in the early stages of her life, she is not exempted from the terrors of war. Liesel’s dealing with loss, her struggle with her identity, and ______________ reveal human nature. Throughout the book, Liesel witnesses the death of those she holds dear. Liesel one of the few principle character who is capable if escaping Death’s clutches throughout the novel. As the ones she loves are no longer present, Liesel feels left desperately alone. Spotting her brother, Werner, lying sideways on the frozen carriage floor, Liesel recognizes that something is amiss. She see the suffering within Werner, desperately hoping that “it isn’t happening” (Zusak 21), which reveals that deep down Liesel knows that it is far too late for her brother. Yet Liesel is so surprised and exasperate due to Werner’s death being sudden and unforeseen, she even believes that her eyes must be deceiving her. When faced with sudden distressing situations humans naturally tend to believe that the situation occurring before them can not be happening as it so unexpected. Death itself can also be seen asking “Why the shaking? Why do they always shake them?” (21) when it spots Liesel shaking her brother, checking to see if Werner has any last breath left in him, which further proves that Liesel still cannot accept her brother’s death as humans instinctively shake someone when they want to receive a response from that person. Werner’s grave is also concrete evidence of his demise, yet Lisel is “still in disbelief” and “starts to dig her brother’s grave”, refusing to believe that Werner is dead as she continuously repeats the phrase “he couldn’t be dead. He couldn’t be dead”. Liesel’s struggle to accept the truth about Werner’s death uncovers that by nature, when a stressful situation occurs and life does not go the way humans want, they are quick to deny reality, refusing what their eyes perceive as they are taken aback. When faced with a sudden, stressful situation, human beings don’t always believe what the eyes perceive as they are taken aback by the abruptness of the situation, which is contrary to the belief the humans are quick to believe everything that comes before them. Combining these two conflicting statements and Liesel’s struggle to accept the truth about Werner’s death unveils that by nature, when life does not got the way humans expect it to, they are quick to deny reality, refusing to believe the concrete evidence before them. When things don’t go our way, we are quick to deny reality When a sudden event or death occurs, it is in human nature to not instantly believe what the eyes perceive as the person is taken aback by the abruptness of the situation. Especially when someone suddenly perishes, humans refuse to believe it as they are so stunned by their sudden departure. Even after moving in with the Hubermanns, Liesel is continued to be haunted by her Brother’s Death. “Every night, Liesl would have nightmares” about “her brother’s face. Staring at the floor” (36). Each night when Liesel had her nightmare “she would wake up swimming in her bed, screaming, and drowning in the flood of sheets” (36). Liesel constantly continues to have her nightmare everyday which explains that Death is not something you can simply move on with. Liesel lost her brother at young age and is traumatized by his death. Liesel’s distressing nightmares start causing Liesel to dread the night and appreciate mornings. For Liesel ” Daylight was the announcement of safety” as “during the day, it was impossible to dream of her brother”(38). Liesel’s haunting dreams reveal that death is never something that is easy to deal with, and that by nature, humans cannot plainly forget about the demise of someone they cherished. An abundance amount of time is required to alleviate the pains of a heartache and recover from the grief. Although Liesel was in terrible agony due to the passing of her brother, Liesel still had to continue on with daily tasks. Despite it being a “terrific failure” (39), Liesel began attending school. Liesel also began playing soccer alongside other children her age, Liesel was made goalie as she was “the new kid in town” (47). Even though Liesel’s continued to be haunted by her nightmare, Liesel didn’t mind waking up in the middle of the night, screaming, as it meant Hans Hubermann would come “to soothe her” and “to love her”(37). Liesel continuing on with life’s daily task meant that she could occupy her mind with something other than the dreadful memory of Liesel’s dead brother. Further in the story, Liesel does not wake up every night , drowning in her bed covers because of her horrifying nightmare. For Liesel, her brother became a companion of a sort. Besides that, when Liesel would lay down in bed, close her eyes and imagine, “Her brother Werner, playing in the cemetery snow” (437). Liesel finally overcoming her trauma is, as previously mentioned, due to time, but also due to the fact that Liesel continued on with life. Liesel continuing on with life’s daily task meant that she could occupy her mind with something other than the dreadful memory of Liesel’s dead brother. Liesel finally defeating her trauma reveals that in human nature when people continue on with their daily life after the demise of someone they love is their way of coping with the situation. Focusing on things outside of grief allows humans to not dwell on sadness, which in turn helps fasten the process of overcoming anguish. hIn The Book Thief Liesel struggles with finding her true identity with all the external influences affecting Liesel’s process of discovering her true self. At school and at the “Band of German Girls” (40), Liesel was taught skills such as: ensuring the students were “marching straight” (40), teaching girls how to “sew up clothes” (40), and they “make sure that yours ‘heil Hitler’ was working properly”. Skills taught to Liesel by the institution are all idealized skills that were necessary in Nazi germany, so that everyone may help Hitler’s government in some way. However, at home, Liesel’s papa, Hans Hubermann “belonged to the 10 percent”(63) of the German population that didn’t support Hitler. Hans Junior and “90 percent of Germans showed unflinching support for Adolf Hitler”. Hans Junior has very strong political views, and wants his father to join the Nazi Party. Hans Junior goes as far as calling his father a “coward” (105). Rudy, Liesel’s best friend is anti Hitler. Rudy starts displaying signs of resistance against hitler’s regime Germany. Similar to Hans Hubermann, Rudy gives bread to the Jewish prisoners. Liesel has many people she could heed advice from, however each person has conflicting opinions that confuse Liesel. Liesel decides that Hitler is using propaganda to brainwash people, and that she will not fall for it, unlike the thousands and thousands of other Germans. Liesel ends up using her own words as a shield from Hitler’s propaganda. Liesel’s struggle to find her identity in Nazi Germany reveals the influence words can hold over people. Hitler’s propaganda brainwashed tons and tons of people despite some of it not being true. Hitler has a knack for playing with words and wording them in his favour. Hitler uses that talent to his advantage. People who have a way with words yield immense power as they can convince a nation to come over to their side. Humans can use the influence words hold over people to their advantage, and those words can either hold positive or negative consequences.