The Book Thief Characterization Rudy Steiner

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  • Hi, Rudy!
  • The Book Thief by Markus Zusak. Rudy Steiner, a German boy living during the Holocaust. "*Rudy Steiner-the boy next door who was obsessed with the black American athlete Jesse Owens," (Zusak 46).
  • Rudy is a young boy who's a little older than Liesel. He has yellow hair, blue eyes, sharp teeth, he's bony, and he's thin. "He was eight months older than Liesel and had bony legs, sharp teeth, gangly blue eyes, and hair the color of a lemon. One of six Steiner children, he was permanently hungry," (Zusak 48). His hair has to be yellow because lemons are yellow and it is clearly stated that he has blue eyes and sharp teeth. He must also be thin because he is bony and is hungry. Without food, he'll stay thin.
  • Rudy Steiner's strongest personality trait is courage. He shows many time throughout the book like when he paints himself like Jesse Owens because he doesn't care about the racial divide and also when he gives bread to the jews marching to Dachau. "'If we're fast, we won't get caught.' He started distributing the bread," (Zusak 440). Rudy knows what happens if you give bread to the Jews. He saw it happen to Hans Hubermann who got whipped. Rudy still gave the Jews bread but tried not to be seen.
  • In the beginning of the book, Rudy was a mischievous character. He bothered a man named Pfiffikus who was extremely rude and cursed very much. "'Hey Pfiffikus!' As the distant figure turned, Rudy started whistling. The old man simultaneously straightened and proceeded to swear with such ferocity that can only be described as talent," (Zusak 52). Rudy bothered the man in the first place to have him turn and only kept bothering him by whistling. This caused the man to get mad and go after Rudy and Liesel.
  • Rudy is clever in the middle section of the book when he is in need of food. He is pouring water onto the road so that it'll freeze and someone will slip on it. "Rudy was carrying two buckets of cold water, or as he put it, two buckets of future ice...he poured the water onto the road in the exact position where Otto would pedal around the corner," (Zusak 162). Rudy was able to come up with the idea to solve his hunger problems. He'd make Otto fall and take his food basket when he was on the ground that was meant for priests.
  • Rudy Steiner exhibits the trait kindness in the end of the book. A Russian pilot crashed near his street and he went to it. The pilot was dying and Rudy gave him a stuffed bear. "He placed the smiling teddy bear cautiously onto the pilot's shoulder," (Zusak 490). Rudy is comforting the pilot in his last moments even though he is on the other side. Normally, a person would just try to kill the pilot faster because he was a part of the bombing but Rudy was nice to him. He made the man happy when he died.
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