Who is Rudy? Compile a list of details that establish who Rudy is in the text, “The Book Thief”. Include general details such as age, personality, family, beliefs, likes, desires, dislikes/frustrations, activities, hobbies, sports.
Significantly include what Rudy represents in the text: consider his appearance, the “Jesse Owens” incident, his family’s situation in Molching, his involvement with Hitler Youth, and what happens to him in the text. Why is Rudy present in this novel?
At the beginning of the novel Rudy is just 10 years old. He has a large family one of five children and has a mother and father.
His personality is cheeky and witty. But he has such a kind heart that only wants one thing from his new best friend. Just one kiss because he just wants all his love to pour over Liesel. As much as Rudy over time begins to understand his feelings and know his own thoughts but he has become a perfect Aryan child in the eyes of the Nazi Party. Lemon blonde hair, blue eyes, fit to run for miles and has a good brain on his shoulders. Although he may have a smart brain with top grades, the Nazi party obviously do not realise his ability to think for himself.
However Rudy is lost in the world around him, he doesn’t understand the politics of the new Germany. Rudy is innocent to the things of horror and war that surround him. Rudy’s dream is to be a star runner like the African America Jesse Owens. Rudy identifies him as something to be, he idolises Jesse Owens. Rudy decides it would be a good idea to mock him as a runner and paint himself black whilst running the track. Yet this courageous act was completely shunned as Hitler is trying to embody this idea of a supreme race and Rudy just can’t seem to grapple the concept.
Rudy’s drive for his bravery and stupidity seems to often involve his hunger. Rudy is always hungry and carries out criminal acts to rid his hunger. He joins a gang and steals from farm’s and houses and then stops a young boy from dropping food off at the church. Rudy is hungry and needs some more food, he cannot think of any other way to fix the problem. Although to take his mind off the food he likes to play football instead. Playing football in the street is one of Rudy’s favourite things to do and is a way to show off to Liesel.
Rudy is a character that has few desires even though he is so young. He wants to be like Jesse Owens, a superstar athlete. He desires just one kiss from Liesel, his best friend but also his love. And he also wants to help the jews and stand up about what he believes in. Rudy is such an active character as before his death he seems to come close to fulfilling all his desires. He doesn’t stop, Rudy always wants to be involved in everything. He will take any opportunity to make a statement or show any type of opinion.
Rudy lives in a hateful world and throughout the text he represents great innocence towards this. He stays pure and kind. Rudy always shows happiness within the text, as he always wants to be there for others such as stating up for Tommy Muller or Liesel.
He stays a child in our hearts as he dies at only just 14 years old.