Character of Max

“Ears were hard and flat”
“His clothes seemed to weigh
him down and his tiredness was
such that an itch would break
him in two.”
“Small misshapen nose”
“Skinny as a whittled broom
“Twigs of hair”
“The rustle of kindling when he
scratched his head”
“Noiseless and Opaque”
“Hair like feathers”
“Eyes were swampy and brown.
Thick and heavy”
“Skin the colour of Eggshells”
“Nest of lopsided hair”
“Whiskers coated his jaw and
“At times she would watch him. She decided that he
could best be summed up as a picture of pale
concentration. Beige coloured skin, a swamp in each
eye. And he breathed like a fugitive. Desperate yet
soundless. It was only his chest that gave him away
for something alive”
My Response
“To your left, perhaps your right, perhaps even straight
ahead, you will find a small black room, in it sits a Jew. He
is scum, he is starving. He is afraid. Please try not to look
•Sets the aspect in which Jews are seen upon
•Characterization of the Jews is immediately set so it
can develop throughout the novel.
•Shows that Jews are treated with Disrespect, enforcing
the Nazi’s belief the Jews are not human.
•Show us what the Jewish culture had to live through.
The foundation for Max’s character.
“If they killed him tonight at least he would die alive”
•Max is able to survive by himself up to this point.
•After this Max lives with the Hubermanns (putting their
lives in danger)
•Max’s Viewpoint:
Hiding with the help of others
giving up (as his life is now gone, also others are at risk)
“Not many people who came from his neighborhood were
fighters, and if they were they didn’t do it with their fists.
In those days they said the Jews preferred to simply stand
and take things. Take the abuse quietly and then work
their way back to the top. Obviously every Jew is not the
•At this point mast Jews had given up.
•All except Max = the fact he was chosen as a main
•His life contrasts with other Jewish lives.
•Integrity makes him interesting.
•Max wanted his life and he would fight for it, earn it
along with respect an victory.
•Max wants to be noticed. Jews want to live in peace.
My Response
“From now on I will stay down here. You will not hear
from me, I will not make a sound”
•Max is used to surviving on his own
•He feels guilt as the Hubermanns lives are at risk now
•Max’s father earnt the hospitality not Max himself.
•He is used to operating by himself.
The Wall written words of Max Vandenburg
It was Monday and they walked
On a tightrope to the sun.
•Max is slowly looking at things with a positive aspect
•He starts to regain his life
•He has the ability to create something artistic out of a
childish description. This shows he has regained his
“Originally Max had intended to write his own story.
The idea was to write about everything that had
happened to him- all that had led him to a Himmel
Street basement- but it was not what came out. Max’s
exile produced something else entirely. It was a
collection of random thoughts and he chose to
embrace them. They felt true.”
•Strong feeling of isolation
•He wanted to create something like a diary to confide
in. With the secret hope that Liesel would discover it.
•Max feels a strong bond with Liesel as Literature plays
a strong part in each of their lives.
•Also due to the fact that they both have common
aspects in their childhood of loss and abandonment.
By Max Vandenburg
•Shows how Hitler used words to control the nation
•Shows Liesels and Max’s strong understanding of
literature. How they share a bond through their stories
•Foreshadows a happily ever after ending.
•Max and Liesel are the wordshakers
To sum up Max’s Life
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