Hans Huberman - BiggeEnglish12

Hans Huberman
Contrast + Conflicts
• Explore multiple conflicts of Hans Huberman, a
main character of “The Book Thief”.
1. Contrast with his wife Rosa.
2. Internal conflict with Nazism.
3. Conflict with his son Hans Junior.
How they help us understand the character
Hans and aspects of the idea of Genocide.
Contrast with Rosa Huberman
• Very opposite and conflicting characters
• Differ in 3 main ways:
1. Difference in appearance
2. Difference in nature
3. Difference in the way they appear to other
All contribute to Hans’ characterisation.
Differences in Appearance
Hans Huberman
Rosa Huberman
• “very tall”
• “squat”, “five foot one inch”
• Walks “straight”
• Walks with a “distinct waddle”
• Differences encourage comparison between
the characters.
Conflicts of Nature
• Close characters (married) but are heavily
conflicted in their differing natures
Hans Huberman
Rosa Huberman
• Quiet man
• An abrupt woman with a short
• Eyes “made of kindness and
• “a face constantly contorted
with fury”
Conflicts of Nature
• Their natures are shown the first time Liesel
encounters them
• Hans “coaxes” her out of the car, “quietly”, while
Rosa yells at onlookers “what are you arseholes
looking at?”
• This obvious and surprising difference
emphasises Hans’ quiet and kind nature.
Difference in “Appearance”
• The way they appear to other people.
• Rosa is short, angry, boisterous, flamboyant.
• Hans comes across as “not noticeable. Not
important or particularly valuable”
• Only the people closest to him notice the “quiet
air around him” and understand he is “worth a
Difference in “Appearance”
• He is a “diamond in the rough” (“silver eyes”,
“secretly valuable”)
• The rough means the people in Nazi Germany.
• Hans stands out as different from this hatred,
explained more later.
• Hans is a quiet, gentle man whose value is in his
quiet manner and gentle nature.
Shows characterisation and about the idea of Genocide
Internal Conflict
• Hans opposes Nazism
• Makes a “conscious decision not to follow Hitler”
• Does this because he is “unable to antagonise
people in such a way”
Internal Conflict
• He is conflicted, because he opposes, but openly
opposing is dangerous.
• “wears a face with the shades pulled down.”
Opposes in his mind.
• Shows Hans’ integrity and kindness, he is unable
to hate, but cannot oppose openly.
Internal Conflict
• Hans represents all oppressed Germans in
• Gives us an insight into German people at this
• Teaches us about an idea to do with the
genocide: people can still make good decisions
based on kindness.
Internal Conflict
• Jew marching through Molching incedent.
• Hans gives a “stumbling” old Jew being marched
a piece of bread, who buries “his face between
them [Hans’ knees] and thanked him”.
Internal Conflict
• This act of heroism gives hope to the hopeless,
and to us, that there is still kindness in the
• Hans shows courage.
• Teaches us about courage and heroism: can be
but a small act of kindness or the courage to do
what is right.
Characterisation and ideas of Genocide.
Conflict with Hans Junior
• Hans is against Hitler, Hans Junior is for him.
Breeds conflict between them.
• Hans Junior has been brainwashed, poisoned.
• His eyes don’t carry the warmth of his fathers –
they have been “Führered.”
Conflict with Hans Junior
• Hans Junior represents the Nazi movement, and
the conflict represents the clash between the
movement and people like Hans who can’t or
won’t hate.
• Conflict also represents how families are
corrupted by Hitler’s will.
Conflict with Hans Junior
• Shows us about Hans.
• “you’re either for the Führer or against him” –
and both choices carry dire consequences, death.
• Conflicts help us understand the character Hans
1. Contrast with his wife Rosa helps
characterisation through difference
2. Internal conflict with Nazism helps us establish
some of Hans’ character and teaches us aspects
of an idea to do with Genocide
3. Conflict with his son Hans Junior builds some
more of Hans’ character and is used to show us
another idea.

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