What is the first thing you think about when you hear the word death? In most cases, people fear death but as the narrator in Markus Zusak’s novel, The Book Thief, Death is a compassionate and honorable character.
The acts of human nature can become a very difficult concept to understand. Markus Zusak uses Death throughout the The Book Thief to express the complexity of human nature. Death illustrates how complicated beings humans are and how they hold the capacity to act in both evil and beautiful ways. Throughout the novel Death helps give readers insight to the ignorance displayed and the pain it may cause a person. In the most troublesome and discriminatory times of the Holocaust, Death will point out the beautiful acts of compassion carried out by characters involved in the novel. Sometimes beauty and pain is mixed within the sacrifice some make for those they love and are loyal to.
“It is 1939, Nazi Germany. The country is holding its breath. Death has never been busier, and will be busier still.” In the Book Thief by Markus Zusak, the narrator death is haunted by humans. He revisits history, gets into the heart and minds of the characters, gives small hints of events to come and has an opinion all in the quest to reconcile humanity’s capability to do evil with humanity’s capability to do good.
Death. To many, it is the end of life and start of a new beginning from this world, but in The Book Thief by Markus Zusak, Death is our narrator. He is the one who guides us through the life of a young German girl named Liesel during Nazi Germany. Death manages to see her three times, and soon enough, becomes fascinated by her and the trials she must face in her life. Liesel manages to change Death’s character, surprising him in a way he thought humans never could and changing his viewpoint on them forever.
Part One: Compare and contrast this persona of Death with the familiar personification of the Grim Reaper. How is Death from The Book Thief like the Grim Reaper, and how is he significantly different?
“Even death has a heart” (Zusak 242). When death comes to mind it is thought of as a state, rather than being a character. In The Book Thief, Death was the narrator; Death explains that dying was not the worst thing that could happen to a person. Death uses symbols to help develop themes. Words have power, war goes further than the battlefield, and sometimes what should be done will cause the most regret are all themes taken from the book.
Death is a very well-known figure that is feared by many in all countries. He is suspected of being cruel, disturbing and all synonyms of horrifying. Death is inevitable and that is the most fearing aspect of his persona. In Markus Zusak’s The Book Thief, Death is made to seem or resemble humans. Effectively using the narration role, Death introduces a unique description and definition of colors in which he uses as a tool to effectively engage the readers to the events occurring throughout the book. He also demonstrates him personal and different experiences as well, mostly about soul gathering and the implications of WWII that have affected him. On the contrary to Death’s dead, appalling and scary nature that many interpret him to be
Hope is elusive and one needs courage to ensure it does not fly away. In The Book Thief, Markus Zusak develops the theme of courage and hope throughout the novel, showing people need both to survive. He portrays the theme effectively through the characterization of Liesel as well as the symbolism of Hans Hubermann’s accordion.
The consequences, regret, and grievance caused by Hans giving bread to the Jewish man, in Markus Zusak’s novel The Book Thief, were not worth the minimal benefits that came from his actions. The worst consequence was that the old, frail Jewish man and Hans were both whipped severely. The starving Jew didn’t even get the bread, nor did Hans get the bread back meaning that it just went to waste. Another repercussion of Hans giving the bread was that he caused Rosa and Liesel grievance, when both he and Max had to leave. All of these terrible consequences affected not only Hans but also affected Hans’ whole family and the Jewish man, too.
Narration is important in almost any book, which is why it is especially important in Mark Zusak’s: The Book Thief. He uses foreshadowing, perspective, and interaction with the reader to make the book so much more interesting. Zusak's selection of Death as the narrator heavily changes and alters the way the book is read. Death allows the reader to have a completely new and different perspective of Death itself, he heavily foreshadows very important events in the book, and he interacts with the reader many times throughout the book. By presenting death as the narrator, Zusak provides a more outside and impartial view of humanity’s pain and suffering (Johnson).
“Here is a small fact: You are going to die”(Zusak 3). The Book Thief, a historical fiction book by Markus Zusak, is narrated by Death. The novel takes place during the 1930’s and 40’s in Nazi Germany and follows 9 year old Liesel Meminger, who death refers to as “The Book Thief.” After her father, mother, and then brother are killed, Liesel becomes an orphan and is taken in by Hans and Rosa Hubermann in Molching. Throughout the book, she meets many people including the Mayor’s wife, Isla Hermann, and Max Vandenburg, a Jew who is hiding from the Nazi’s in the Hubermann’s basement. Although Liesel’s life is filled with death and loss, she ends up surviving an air raid on her street and after the war, she is reunited with Max who survived
The Book Thief is a historical fiction novel by Markus Zusak set in Munich, Germany during the Nazi reign from 1936-1943. The novel incorporates a main character that is, in the beginning, an innocent child who doesn't understand the world and takes her on a journey where she grows up and matures through the hardships and challenges of her life. The story is narrated by the character Death, who is a fresh take on the Grim Reaper, only wearing the black cloak when it's cold and never carries a syte. Death describes the life Liesel Meminger, an orphaned girl who witnesses her brother's death and burial and finds herself being adopted by the benevolent old couple, the Hubermanns. The rest of the story follows Liesel's journey through her incredibly challenging life with the Hubermanns and characters such as Rudy, The mayor's wife, and Max helping her along. Symbolism in The Book Thief deepens the story by conveying many different ideas and emotions that supports the reader's understanding of the story. This is especially apparent with the use of the gravediggers to help the reader remember characters, the use of color to help the reader feel the proper emotions and remember the correct events, and the use of Liesel's changing feelings about Rudy to convey how Liesel grows and matures through the book.
After reading and scrutinizing The Book Thief, one can see that bread, the accordion, and books, the three main symbols used in the novel, are indispensable to the merriment of the book. To add information, these three symbols all represent different things, actions, and people, but can all be compared and contrasted. Three different ways that these emblems can be compared and contrasted is by looking at what they represent, why they represent it, and the reasoning behind why the author used that specific symbol.
The Book Thief is set in the time of World War 2 where the Holocaust is present and disaster is everywhere. Throughout the story, Liesel, the main character, learns that words are extremely powerful and hold the ability for people to use them for good or for evil. Among the disaster and altercations, Liesel uses her literature to comfort her and make herself more powerful due to her knowledge, which demonstrates the theme of the story, the comfort and power of literature and words softens the pain of loss.
In a dimly lit stone room, gathered around a simple stone table, surrounded by plain stone pillars, eight large figures stood barking at each other in harsh, guttural tones. The room was undecorated; made for utility without much care for how it pleased the eye. The green-skinned men occupying the room were far better decorated, wearing coloured furs over their leather and chain armor. Each one was adorned with a sigil representing their tribe hanging from a chain around their neck. The largest among them, however, wore no sigil. Instead he wore a simple iron crown with no decorations. This marked him as the chosen leader of the tribes, and he was the only one present who held a blade. The warchief would lead them to victory, then ascend to