Saturday, December 6, 2014

STORMING THE BEACHES

"No man is an island entire of itself; every man 
is a piece of the continent, a part of the main... 
Any man's death diminishes me, 
because I am involved in mankind. 
And therefore never send to know for whom 

the bell tolls; it tolls for thee."
~John Donne

I have always loved this poem, but it has never rung as true for me as it did on the day I had the honor of standing above Omaha Beach in Normandy.





So many names--a sea of white crosses. Men--America's sons--who traveled across an ocean to lay down their lives for strangers in the name of freedom and righteousness. They didn't know what fate had in store for them that grey, choppy June day. But they did know that there was a whole continent being held hostage, and it was up to them to do something about it.

So they stormed the beaches. They stepped out on dangerous enemy territory with the orders to make the climb; up the embankment, to take the bunkers, to take out the enemy. Nothing was certain. Death was likely. But they were involved with mankind. And the bell was tolling....

That was almost 70 years ago, yet very little has changed. We all are asked at some point in our lives for a multitude of reasons to storm a beach. To face a fear. To walk into uncertainty. To let go of one dream and seek out the possibility of another. There are no guarantees. Fate is uncertain. But we are given that same choice: stay adrift, or storm the beach. Will we make the choice to face the enemy head on and get it over with?  Will we make the climb?


The men of Normandy knew their enemy and were willing to do whatever it required to take them out, once an for all. 


You need to know also that you are not an island. While an evil or misfortune may not threaten you directly, if it threatens your family, your friend, your brother, it diminishes you.

If you are storming a beach in life right now--or you are about to--you are in good company. Trust me. I stood on that beach with the spirits of those men, those Boys of Pointe du Hoc. There is peace there where they rest; the peace of those who knew they were not an island. They did not have doubts. Their mission was clear. They were the boys who saved a continent of strangers because they realized that no matter how free they were in their land, they would never truly be free until their brothers all over the world were free. They sought to make the climb, and many, in the process, ultimately laid down their lives for these strangers across the sea....these brothers.

There is no greater love than this.


Take a few moments and reflect on your Book Thief  character.  What beaches must he/she storm right now?  What characteristics or personal qualities does he or she possess that make him/her equipped to face the challenge?  If you are comfortable, you may also share a beach you had to storm in your life, either for yourself or on behalf of another.  What qualities do you have that helped you make the climb over the embankment?  You do not have to share a personal story by any means.  Only if you wish to share.  You may also share a story of someone else who stormed a beach and inspired you.


Tomorrow will mark the anniversary of a day President Roosevelt said would live in infamy.  It was, literally a call to arms.  A bell that tolled.  I hope you will take a moment or two tomorrow to think about the brave men and women who answered the call--who fought for the freedom of others.


I am eager to hear your stories.

46 comments:

  1. My group’s character in the book is Death and he doesn’t really have people that he needs to pull through. He only really takes the souls of those who have lost their lives and watches the living. I do feel like for him, storming the beach is having to collect the souls and see all the lives that all the humans have taken and it makes him sad to see all the lives that had just been thrown away. So maybe in his eyes he is storming the beach to take care of all the souls that are just lying around that the humans did not care about and threw away.

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  2. The Book Thief character I am analyzing is Hans Hubermann. This man has stormed many beaches. He stormed the beaches of raising someone else child as his own. He has stormed beaches of teaching her to read, comforting her in the night, even lecturing her on Hitler and keeping secrets. Hans is most recently storming a beach he set out for himself. Saving the life of a someone who was only a boy when his father saved the life of Hans. Hans is a strong man. He has fought in two literal battles where he escaped death and is also caring, hard working, and persistent helping him fight the figurative battles throughout his life.
    I hope I can look to the characters in this book when I have battles in my life and use their example as I fight or respond.

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    1. They definitely are inspiring characters. I feel the same way!

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  3. My group's character is Death. Now, despite not directly interacting with any of the other characters, Death does have his own beach to storm. For Death, watching millions of people die constantly is heart-wrenching. It seems each of those deaths weighs on him, especially those who are innocent, who die "in the crossfire" as it is. He hardly knows these people, only really seems them as they die, but the loss of life touches him nonetheless. He seems to react to human emotions just as the people themselves do. This is Death's beach to climb; the death of people who have no need to die.

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    1. Yes. It weighs him down. He is, in so many ways, like many of us.

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  4. Our group's character for our FOA is Liesel. We chose her because this person's life is nothing but an enormous beach. But not a regular beach with soft sand and gentle waves crashing on the shore, I mean a beach in some awful polluted state with broken glass bottles, biting ants, and slipper, slimy rotten seaweed. She's been abandoned by her mother, her brother died on the way to meet their foster parents, she hates her country's ruler, she has a strange Jewish man living in her new house, and now, if she tells anyone about the man, her foster father threatened to burn her most precious object: Her books.
    There is so much wrong with her life it's nauseating. How a child can deal with this much disappointment, it's amazing.
    Because she is facing all of these challenges, the characteristics I found that Liesel has is the natural instinct to help the ones she's encountered. Even when she basically has no "right" to have to help people since she's at a delicate age and has indeed been traumatized, she still wants other people to be happy as well as herself.

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  5. Death is an.. interesting character to put in as a narrator in a book. Death i feel has a few different "beaches to storm" in a sense that he has to deal with the act of humans dying everyday. When he goes off to pick up the deceased, he takes on the external traits of that person, which definitely makes that death mean so much more to him. Another challenge i feel he is going to have to deal with is sitting back and watching the human race become corrupt as time goes on.. He shows a very strong distaste for the human race aside from the people like Liesle, Rudy and Max, who are fighters. He likes that. However there aren't many people like them and it's got to get old sitting back and watching as people kill each other off, especially in Nazi Germany at the time. Also he is going to have to take away the soul of poor Rudy when the fateful day comes later int he story. And he is going to more then likely see Liesel's reaction to this death. He said himself, "even Death has a heart".

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  6. My group's FOA character is Rudy Steiner. He is young, and has yet to storm many beaches past wanting to kiss Liesel and steal apples from a nearby farm. However, his youth and innocence do not deter him from chasing after what he desires. Wether, it is a kiss, an apple, the sweet victory in a neighborhood soccer game, the fictitious winning of an olympic gold medal or jumping into an ice-cold river for a book, Rudy Steiner storms all of those beaches. He goes against the norm in terms of desire and sees the world from a perspective that is so innocent, it's almost bitter. While Rudy isn't yet old enough to face the situations which the likes of Hans or Max have faced, he is storming the beach of love and desire, which might be one of the most intricate and delicate paths to date.

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  7. I myself have not experienced anything tragic and I'm quite happy about that, but I feel like deep down inside me I can relate to people, I feel like I can understand what they've been through, I can understand the beaches they had to storm on. But again I haven't went through anything worth mentioning and I hope that no one else will go through anything tragic more than once in their life, once seems like enough for a lifetime.
    My group's character for the FOA is Rudy Steiner. Now Rudy is one of the youngest characters in the book apart from Liesel, and I believe that that is an important fact to consider when discussing the storming of beaches. Rudy is one of those super sweet, adorable, slightly crazy boys that haven't experienced many hardships in life. I mean sure he is poor and he's living in Nazi Germany, but he hasn't seen the horrors that humans are capable of committing like Hans and Max have seen. Death tells us what is to come towards the end of the book, and it's a very saddening thought, that Rudy Steiner, the boy filled with life and joy, is going to die at such a young age without getting a kiss from his Saumensch. In a sense, that is a beach he will stomp all over, but he doesn't even know, which makes it a beach to storm on for us as readers, knowing this horrible heart wrenching thing that we can't change.

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    1. I know. It's a little mini star-crossed love story within a bigger story. So sad. Even though we know, Markus keeps making us fall more and more in love with Rudy.

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  8. My character for the FOA is Max. He goes through a struggle throughout his life, he is always on some stormy beach or other. His struggle is his religion: Jewish and the fact that he lives in Nazi Germany is enough for any storm. He has seen horrors, he has to live in fear all of the time. Interesting enough for him though, he has an umbrella for his storm, being "Mein Kampf" (My struggle) Which is written by HiItler the very person who is causing his storm,making it a beach storm a combination of both.

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  9. As a teen, you go through difficult, even life changing things. I feel that I have come across some pretty enormous, ugly beaches that I have had to conquer, and still am. I can't say I have endured someone's journey on a stormy beach for them, but I've definitley been present during someone's struggle. I can be a cold person, insensitive too. But if I care about you, or relate through your struggle, I wouldn't let you face it alone. One of two of my characteristics that help me to embark life's fight, is that I am no coward. And I say it proudly! I'm a firm believer that all I endure is for a reason. And the most I can do, is look it in the eye, and take it as best as I can. Life is better when you're not scared of it, anyway. Like my FOA character Liesel, I too, instinctively feel I must aid you through the grapple of life if I truly feel you cannot handle it alone. Personally, I think that is what keeps Liesel fighting, what feeds her energy and motive almost. Though I am not completely religious, I will be bold enough to make this statement. I would say because of her kind heart, God rewards Liesel in allowing her to find the strength to go through her wrestling fight with life.

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    1. I completely agree. He definitely does. And she has melted the heart of Death, too.
      Great post. Thank you!

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  10. One of my characters is Rudy Steiner. As a little blond haired German he has it easier than Max and his problems aren't as big, but that does not invalidate them. In the past the only tribulations he has suffered that we know of are his troubles with authority and being hungry all the time and just the suffering of being a younger sibling. Now though we see him face a bigger problem: the beach of Hitler's Youth and the despicable Franz Deutscher. What is interesting though is that Rudy did not have to storm that beach of facing Franz . He did it for Tommy, a kid he didn't even like! He is a natural leader and believes in fairness and that pushes him to stand up for Tommy and what he believes is right. I think Rudy is an excellent example because just as the soldiers who stormed Normandy weren't fighting for their own country at the moment, Rudy also wasn't fighting for himself. Both were fighting for what was right and that is why I love Rudy.

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    1. OH!!! Beautiful parallel! Love it!! I am going to share this with the class Monday. Thank you for your post!

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  11. My character for my FOA is Rudy Steiner. Right now, I think the beaches that Rudy must storm is having food, stealing, passing Hitler’s Youth, and kissing Liesel. Since Rudy lives in the poor part of Molching, Germany, he always has the nagging sensation of hunger. The beaches he needs to storm to get past his hunger is stealing. Rudy needs to storm the beaches of stealing because he is hungry and the only way that he can get past that beach is to pass the beach that requires him to steal. I know he doesn’t necessarily need to steal food, but how else is he going to pass Hitler’s Youth if he doesn’t have any muscle? Hitler’s Youth is a beach for Rudy because he doesn’t support Hitler in any way. He is the type of character that doesn’t really like to be told what to do and who to follow. He is a leader, not a follower. But, all boys his age is required to be in Hitler’s Youth, so he storms that beach every single day. Lastly, kissing Liesel is a beach because she doesn’t want to kiss him. She is so dead set on not kissing him and he is so dead set on kissing her. And to storm and pass that beach, he needs to impress her. Rudy is very persistent and strong to storm all of these beaches. Having those characteristics, I think he can pass all of these beaches. Just not in a way he intends too….

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    1. Yes. Rudy is among the "soldiers" who didn't make it. He fights battles for others, as Amy points out above, but ultimately, he doesn't make it to the top. He is the tragic hero for sure.

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  12. The character we chose for our FOA project is Death.
    Death really attracts my attention because she is very mysterious. Yes I did call Death a she and I have my reasons for it. First of all, the author was inspired by his mother's stories that she told him as a child. Second of all, she is mysterious and sometime a pain. Death spoils most of the book for us in the beginning of the story and still is…
    Lastly, Death does reminds me, of me as well, she pays attention to detail even from the simplest and most delicate things. So do I, but for me it’s different; I cannot describe them as well as death does, sadly not matter how hard I try. Death has the biggest challenge of them all but then again the best one..
    She takes people’s souls but she has the understanding of the human concept. She understand that humans are not all pure evil and I love that. I love it because I love seeing the good in people and what they are capable of doing. Personally, I do not have a tragic experience.. well not that I think are tragic and I am inspired by people. But I honestly don't think it is a big story to share.

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    1. You have some very great arguments for Death being a girl! I can see it now through your points. I love that Death (and you) can see the potential good in all people. Sometimes it causes heartbreak, but I feel it is worth it. :)

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  13. My character in the book thief is death. This character is kind of hard to do, but some thing that death has to overcome is having to take so many souls a day, so many souls that had so much life that didn’t deserve to die. Through out the book you learn that “even death has a heart” and its hard for him to see so many die a day, its hard for him to take souls from bodies that so desperately didn’t deserve to go. Yet it’s his job, he doesn’t have a quality that is equipped for him to do it… he has to. He tries to not think about it, he tries to do other things to take his mind off of it, but when he stops and thinks about it he seems to become sad.

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  14. “Why wait? So precious is this life—this gift—this temporary blindness. Burn and drown and embrace the false dark, then grasp the unthinkable height of resulting joy. For in the end, in the light of truth when the flesh is cast off, there is nothing but this" (Jennifer Delucy).
    I have experienced the pain of rough waters in my short life, and I expect many more obstacles in the future. The truth is, life is filled with many challenges that are waiting to be overcome. Liesel is facing her fear and overcoming obstacles on a daily basis. A perfect example of this is dealing with the loss of her brother at a very young age. Her brother's death has manifested physical effects on Liesel such as bed wetting, and having nightmares. Liesel is a strong minded girl because of the personal tragedies she has had to endure. A storm that has effected my life drastically is my Uncle's alcoholism. I have seen the effects of someone who is under substance abuse, and the decisions that are made that negatively impact their life. Seeing the impacts of his poor choices has made me cautious of the decisions I make in life.

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    1. Alcoholism/Addiction is such a destructive beach. It is like a bomb blast as it affects everyone around the addict, too. I am glad to hear you are using this negative as a positive reminder to you to be cautious and aware and make better decisions in your own life.

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  15. My groups character is Death. Death has so many sides to her, but they are all so raw and delicate. Never did I ever have any version of this kind of Death, this kind soul that truly does have emotions and cares until I read the words Markus Zusak carefully crafted together. I always thought Death was an angry being coming to take us to our finally resting place. But she's not, and the battle she's facing now is World War II. She in every since is down on the battle fields fighting along side the soldiers. Fighting against the souls that want to go, but it's not their time, and the ones who were taken to soon. It was reviled to us the pain she felt having to take away these souls that did not deserve to die, because "even Death has a heart".

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  16. There is such a sense of peace and relief when you know that you are not alone. I’m not sure why exactly, but I do know that when I share with someone what I’m struggling with and they can relate, I feel so assured and “normal”. “If they’re going through it too, then it must be completely fine. I’m not alone. We can fight this together.”

    On the contrary, I think that this is what Hans Hubermann is lacking. First of all, he’s one of many German men who are not apart of that Nazii society group. Second, he’s hiding a Jew. A Jew. A German man hiding a skinny, little Jew. He pretty much stands alone in that. Well, I guess he has Rosa and Liesel to talk to about it, but they live with him. It’s refreshing to hear good advice and counsel from fresh lips. Hans has to learn to fight this virtually alone. Thankfully, Hans is a calm, wise man. He isn’t irrational. He is quiet and he is respected. All of these will help to cover up the “gambler’s” secret. Hopefully.

    I was a pretty fearful kid growing up. I was scared of a lot of things. If it wasn’t what I was used to or what was comfortable to me, I was not okay with it. When I was 11 years old I was awarded the lead in an Alice in Wonderland theater production. 270 lines. No big deal. Until our opening performance night. I remember standing backstage waiting for my que, completely overwhelmed with fear. My brain was telling my body, “You can’t do this. There is no way.” I remember the feeling of a ball in my gut. Well, when my time came, I didn’t think. I had to do it. There was absolutely no turning back. I shoved the worry to the back of my head and started the show. It was an experience I will never forget. So much fun! I’ve had a couple more times when I was scared, literally, out of my mind, but I couldn’t quit. I count those times as little victories. Little victories over the haunting voice inside my head that doubts my abilities. It’s like a “take that” mentality. I plan on skydiving when I turn 18 and I’m excited to be so scared. But I’m most excited for the feeling that comes when I completely defy what I will be telling myself not to do when they open the door that separates me from the compact aircraft from the sucking air of our vast atmosphere. Yes, I love that feeling.

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    1. You are another Nancy Wake! :) Yes, I know that voice well. I hear it still, but thankfully (and I am happy to tell you) it gets quieter and less ominous as you tackle your fears and disassemble them and get older. Great post.

      I am sure every single one of those soldiers headed for that beach were shaking in their boots. The point is, they still stormed it once they arrived, and so did you with Alice. :)

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  17. Thank you for sharing those thoughts, Mrs. Caraway.

    As for the characters, my group has Max and Hans.

    Max is currently facing the struggle of being a Jew in Nazi Germany. His country has decided to make him an island among his own people, and furthermore, one that must be destroyed. Hitler's orchestrated efforts are working to destroy Max's spirit and body, and to make him feel utterly alone in the world. Liesel, Rosa, and Hans are all working to help Max to know that he isn't alone in the world, and to give him hope. Max is a fighter, he can and will keep fighting after being knocked down, until he eventually wins. All he needs is a reason to fight, and he is in the process of finding one.

    Hans is having to make ends meet in Nazi Germany, while not being a member of the Nazi party himself. He loses a lot of business because of this, and the already difficult life at war is made even harder by the small lost opportunities. While doing this, Hans is also sheltering Max, and he has to keep the secret that Max is there absolutely perfectly or else death will occur for him and everyone he loves. But Hans is a good man of solid character. He has a kind heart, and does not feel alone at all, but rather feels that he is a part of a community that he has to care for, including the Jews.

    When witnessing so much evil in the world, it is a very real possibility for me to retreat from all fields of exterior conflict and become my own little island. But there are certainly plentiful beaches to storm, and I have twice of half as much a sense of duty as is needed to attempt it. With a little luck, I might bump into fellow human beings storming the same beaches, and coordinate efforts accordingly.

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    1. Yes you just may!

      Love what you said especially about Max. He is looking for a reason. We all are. He is sort of a representation of every one of us. All these characters are, which I think makes it very hard to let go of them.

      Thank you for sharing your thoughts, too!

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  18. First off, thank you Miss Caraway for this beautifully written piece. Honestly, right now I feel like I'm in the mist of my own beach storming and this post really helped encourage me to keep going. It's funny, you always hear about these moments where the perfect thing was said at just the right time, I think this is one of those moments. This year has been hard. I've had to juggle, give up and balance a lot of things in my life. I feel like an adult sometimes when I only want to be a kid. I have to balance clubs, work, family, church, friends, school and my potential future all at once and lately that's been getting to me. I know this might sound foolish but right now finding that balance is own storming and I don't think I've been handling it the right way (so again thank you). Honestly, last week I was about to start homeschooling again, to me it seemed the easier way but now I'm trying to face my fears. In my book, I often find that Hans always tries to say or do the perfect thing at the right time (like you just did) but in a way I think this is his own struggle or the cause of it anyway. Hans is trying to pay back his old debt not just for his past friend but for himself. This has put him in a situation where he can't always do the "perfect" thing. He has to trust fate and see where his journey takes him. He has to let life take its course which I believe is his own internal struggle, kinda like me.

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    1. I LOVE it when I hear a scholar connect so closely with a character they are studying. Hans is such a dear soul. He does try to keep the peace and make sure everyone is well. He is the poor man with a RICH heart.

      I am so glad that these words encouraged you. I believe that when we are inspired to say or write something it is often because our Creator knows it is going to reach someone who needs to hear it...a fine balance of encouragement. I know balancing is tricky. Especially for your generation because you have so many more choices and technology and opportunities (seems like a blessing, but can be a curse). Take your time, live in the moment you are in, and trust that it will all work out the way it is intended. Live the moments you have alive. My dad used to tell me that. Looking forward is good to a point, but we must also be there for the daily struggles and beauty that is around us because life goes by so fast. Even as you work hard, be there in that moment. :) You will have an amazing future. I am excited for you! ENJOY the ride and the excitement and craziness as much as you can.

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  19. My character is Liesel. It almost seems like she is facing her fears every day. Some specific things were having to leave her family and her brothers death. She is equipped to face these challenges because of her strong personality. She has hope in something and it keeps her going and she stays strong through it all.

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  20. My character is Liesel. Liesel and I are similar in the sense that we both have a fascination with words. Liesel has had a much more complicated back story then me. I have never had to encounter the fear, horror and pain that she has had to and I honestly hope I never do. She's a lot stronger than me in many different ways, but she had to. She was placed in a life where you have to be strong in order to make it out alive.

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  21. I have stormed the beaches before a while back. I went through a period of time where I was very suicidal, to the point of actual attempting of killing myself. I felt like I was taking bullets everyday. I had help from loved ones and the almighty God to pull my out of my depression, like the US did for our brothers over seas. I can honestly say that I am much stronger than I was back then, but in the moment it felt like the world was coming down around me. I think that how I handle my emotions and the situations going on around me was not necessarily the greatest way, but I pushed through the storm.

    In The Book Thief, my character Hans is storming the beach. Throughout the book, you see that Hans is a very quiet man, but also very protective over his family and so now that Max is living with him and his family, it is interfering with that protection that he has so carefully tried to secure. I believe that he is going to win the war, but in the moment for him, I imagine it is very nerve recking.

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    1. Wow! I would NEVER guess that about you because you always seem so self-assured. That is a real testament to the hard work you have done to overcome that darkness in your life. It also says a lot about the love of your loved ones and the power of God.

      I think in you, I see a stubbornness and strong will, too, and that no doubt helped you storm that particular beach. Those two qualities exist in the quiet Hans. That is a connection you both share. :)

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  22. First and foremost, I want to apologize for the late post. I've had a hectic week, and it completely slipped my mind. Please forgive me.

    Secondly, my characters for the FOA project, are Rudy and Rosa. I am quite fond of these two.
    But I want to focus on Rosa briefly. Going through this book we see Rosa as a harsh, and straight-to-the-point kind of person. She uses abrasive words, to talk to a girl she loves, and her husband who she clearly holds dearly. I think she holds everyone very close to her heart, but also at an arms length away. If that makes sense. I believe this is her version of a defense mechanism. I think she has this as a defense mechanism because she has had to "storm many beaches". Although only her present is in detail for us, you can see some of maybe the way she was raised coming through now through her actions, and your personal connections. But her very current beeches needing to be stormed have been accepting Liesel as one of her own now, and raising a little girl. Now, she did ask for this storm, but nonetheless, it's a difficult one! The other beach needing to be stormed is Max. Max has barged into their life, hoping and begging for Hans to fulfill a promise he made years, and years ago. Rosa is not the type of person to refuse to help people. She just isn't, so she must face and accept this beach knowing full well, they are already going under. Now Rosa has to cope with the endless beach that has become her life with Liesel and Max. Not to mention that her washing business has completely gone to hell. Rosa has shown incredible strength throughout these occasions though. She has shown that she is the kind of person who can get through this, she can storm these beaches, with her head held high, screaming "Ich bin stark!".

    As for a beach I've had to storm? Let's see, its a beach called life, and I’m on it everyday. But if I’m honest. A lot of the beaches I have faced, and currently do face do not get stormed by me. They are very slowly approached by me, and its takes quite a while to get up to something that resembles dry sand. I will not so arrogantly believe I run up these shores, and fight a good fight. I have fought many fights, but none of them good, and none of them without getting scars, battles from a year ago, still haven’t ended. These beaches are harder to face, then people have said. And I will not tell a lie, I will only be honest, as I close this entry.

    Most of the time, I'm on my hands and knees with sand encompassing me, and salt water in my lungs.

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    1. That is me on every beach I have had to storm, too. I wish I could say I stormed them valiantly, screaming some sort of Viking battle cry or something brave like that, but I am usually crawling too.

      I don't expect it to be any different going forward. The important thing is, we are still breathing, and storming...in our own sort of way. ;)

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  23. My character for the FOA project is Death. Even though death is not a real person I feel like he still has to storm the beaches. Everyday he has to collect souls of those who have passed away. As he has mentioned in the book, it gets very tiring. He is tired of collecting so many souls. He is exhausted. He does not like how much evil there can be in a person. Everyday he collects a soul, he needs a distraction. He turns to colors to help him endure all of the evil people are capable of.

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  24. My character is Rosa. I have to admit, I did not care for Rosa at first. She seemed like a mean bitter woman. As I grew to understand this character I believe she is quite the opposite. I think she wears a mask in a sense to protect herself, and those around her. I believe ever rude, or mean thing she does is for a reason. Maybe to make her husband or new daughter stronger. I know she cares deeply for both of them. You could see a little bit of the true Rosa when Max arrived. I think this is the storm she is facing, to be the hard woman she maybe needs to be, or in my opinion the loving wife and mom she wants to be.

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    1. Perfectly said. Very poignant.

      This would make Rosa cry, I think...:)

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  25. My groups character is Max. His entire life has been a storm. From being two years old and loosing his father, to going into hiding to stay away from Hitler. His life was probably really bad, as he even had to leave his family just to stay alive. He has so many regrets about living and leaving his family. Throughout this though, he somehow manages to push through or storm a beach. I think that Max is the best example of "storming a beach" in this entire book. His life has been horrible, and he has to live in a basement to stay alive. If I was Max I would think why am I still alive? Max is able to continue to push and "storm" on throughout his bad past and present. I think Max is a great example of "storming a beach"

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  26. My groups Foa character is Max and like Matthew Pyer said Max's whole life is the storm that he has been having to push through as hard as he can. His life has been nothing but a multitude of hardships, ranging through many different pains he has felt, most of them being a close loved one, whether it be their own death or Max having to leave them all to "push through the storm" and save his own life. Now in his life he is to stay in a basement which seems like an ultimate torment, knowing that you aren't safe anywhere and having to stay away and distance from everyone to survive. It almost doesn't seem worth it and I certainly don't know what I would do in his situation, and just seeing him makes me wonder if he feels the same way.

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  27. Our character for our FOA is Death. Now, first getting out of the way that one of the biggest beaches to storm he has is that he has to watch innocent people die, I feel it's not the biggest one. First, imagine: you are walking through the aftermath of one of the biggest wars and you have to carry out the souls. You see a lemon-haired boy, a silver-eyed man, and a woman whose hair couldn't be pulled up anymore. Then, you see a young girl screaming; tragically, this is normal to you. However, you have seen her before, so you feel a bit of sympathy. You pick up a book and begin to read. Okay, Death has a dreary job, yes. However, I imagine his biggest beach to storm happened when he read Liesel's book. He got insight into the lives of a few of these people and grew to love and care for them in a way only Death could. That must've killed him...no pun intended. I mean, he has a heart. He's said so himself.

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  28. My group's character is Max Vandenburg. As a Jew in World War II Germany, Max's struggle is a constant one, always full of fear that he will be caught, he will be put to death. His life hangs on a thread, and if it cuts his life will be terminated. Yet despite all of this, Max befriends the little girl whose family is hiding him. He reads with her, and even writes stories for her. She is the light at the end of the tunnel for Max. He's storming the beach that is his life for her. When Max found himself laying there dying on that bed, he still found the strength to keep death at bay, and he pulled through. Despite all of his struggle, Max finds the strength to carry on. No matter what Max would have to do, he would always storm a beach. He is the skinny Jewish fist-fighter, and he would never give in.

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  29. (I had this typed somewhere but it wasn't posted I suppose -- so I copied and pasted this. Hope that was alright :T)

    The character my group is analyzing is Rudy Steiner. He's a character that, to my pleasure, seems has a lot of depth despite the very sharp descriptions given to you in the novel. He's loyal (maybe to a fault) and ambitious, and he has the spirit of a leader versus the conviction of a follower. He's opposite of what Hitler wants his Youth to be.

    He is also a dreamer. Being forced to stay alive because of his circumstances, he grew to be a very admirable character. His current struggle is trying to survive in a harsh world. He's resorted to stealing for basic survival and being forced into a situation he doesn't really want to be a part of, and right now, those are his main struggles (aside from the situations with Liesel that I don't really want to touch on, because I don't know if I see those as being so important compared to what's actually occurring to him at this point in the novel) in my opinion. He's basically being constricted and he's a young boy, looking for ways to break free and going about it by means that would be expected from a boy so young.

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