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The Book Thief

Presentation for Teaching Adolescent Literature

Kristina Myers

on 28 April 2011

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Transcript of The Book Thief

The Book Thief by
Markus Zusak "It's just a small story, really, about,
amongst other things:

a girl
some words
an accordionist
some fanatical Germans
a Jewish fist-fighter
and quite a lot of thievery.

I saw the book thief three times."

-Death " I have hated the words and I have loved them, and I hope I have made them right." - Leisel Meminger (The Book Thief) T
Reading, Writing and Language
The Human Condition
Loss T
y Social Class Lens
"places the study of literature in the context of social questions"
~Bonnycastle Which characters in The Book Thief do you feel most closely represent your social status? Questions How does class figure into Nazi Germany? How are the upper class represented in the book? The middle class? The poor? "First the colors.

Then the humans.

That's usually how I see things.

Or at least how I try."

~Death The story is set
in the fictional
town of Molching,
a suburb of the
city of Munich,
which is said to be
the "birthplace
of Nazism." Why is this
important to the story? are a symbol of power -
they can be used for
good or evil.
Their power lies in their ability to heal or hinder. is the number of times Death saw Leisel Meminger.
is the number of times Hans Hubermann cheated death.
is the number of colors Death sees the most.
is the number of books Leisel steals.
What does this mean??? are what Death sees when someone dies.
The colors he sees when he sees Leisel in the flesh are white black red haunt Death.
never cease to amaze Death.

Major Characters Leisel Meminger (The Book Thief)
Rudy Steiner (Leisel's best friend)
Hans and Rosa Hubermann (Leisel's Foster Parents)
Max Vandenburg (A Jew hiding w/ the Hubermanns)
Frau Ilsa Hermann (The Mayor's wife)
Death (The narrator)
Frau Holtzhapfel (neighbor who hates Rosa)

Historical Fiction Setting is WWII Nazi Germany 1939-1943
Set in the fictional town of Molching, right outside of Munich
Story unfolds in the context of real-life events from WWII and refers to real-life people - Hitler, Stalin. Author employs:
elements of pastiche
aleatory writing
experiments with form
Post-Modern Fiction Son of German and Austrian parents; his mother lived in Munich, his Father lived in Vienna.

Wrote The Book Thief in response to a series of stories his mother told him of growing up during WWII. Leisel Meminger is 9 years old when she is taken to live with a foster family in 1939. She arrives with very few possessions, among them a book she has stolen from her brother's gravesite. As the years pass, Hitler becomes more powerful and life begins to change for Leisel. Her only escape from life in Nazi Germany is the words she learns to read and write from her most prized possessions : her stolen books. "pimples were gathered in peer groups on his face"

"the fingers of her soul touched the story that was written so long ago in her basement"

"At the end of it, the sun is like a yellow hole...."
What does it mean to be human?

Death says:

" I wanted to explain that I am constantly
overestimating and underestimating the
human race - that rarely do I ever simply estimate
it. I wanted to ask her how the same thing could
be so ugly and so glorious, and its words so
damning and brilliant." "The last time I saw her was red. The sky was like soup, boiling and stirring. In some places it was burned. There were black crumbs, and pepper, streaked across the redness."

"Snowflakes of ash fell so lovelily you were tempted to stretch out your tongue to catch them, taste them."

When I recollect her, I see a long list of colors, but its the three in which I saw her in the flesh that resonate the most........


Death and War Personified:

"They say that war is Death's best friend, but I must offer you a different point of view on that one. To me, war is like the new boss who expects the impossible. He stands over your shoulder repeating one thing incessantly, "Get it done, get it done." So, you work harder. You get the job done. The boss, however, does not thank you. He asks for more." Symbolism
The # 3 "The words.Why did they have to exist?
Without them, there wouldn't be an of this. Without words, the Fuhrer was nothing. "
Full transcript