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The Book Thief - Part Three
Transcript of The Book Thief - Part Three
it is first person, reflective and omnipresent
narration is interrupted in order to share his thoughts, usually announcing them like a newscaster to draw emphasis
foreshadowing is sometimes employed giving readers selective and incomple accounts to build suspense
this is ironic since though we tend to fear death's mysterious nature, in this case, he often offers explicit explanations of events exploring different themes: other aspects of Zusak's rhetorical strategy which contribute to these themes include:
metaphorical language books (stealing is Liesel's form of defiance)
food (the neighborhood kids are motivated to steal by their hunger) i.e despite the hatred around them, friendships are still formed and acts of kindness are still committed i.e. in Death's eyes, death brings a sense of peace while life is distressing and full of contrasting ideals - there is both good and evil i.e. in the beginning Death says that the first [book] was stolen from snow the second from fire i.e. Hans Jr. accuses his father of being wrong and cowardly for not supporting Hitler, yet, on Hans' part it takes much more bravery to do the right thing and defy him mortality words in Death's words: "They fall on top of each other" "the scribbled signature black" "onto the blinding global white" onto the thick soupy red for example, in regards to the death of Leisel's brother Death announces: *** HOW IT HAPPENED ***
There was an intense spurt of coughing.
Almost an inspired spurt.
And soon after - nothing this adds to the tone which is extremely matter of fact, yet confessional at times such as the blunt declaration "I am haunted by humans" this develops a paradox, since Death, in this instance, is sympathetic locating the motifs: colors thievery juxtaposition snow and fire
life and death
beauty and destruction
right and wrong distract Death from the humans he leaves behind
instead of focusing on the survivors which bring him distress, he focuses on his surroundings, specifically the color of the sky
Liesel also notices the unique colors of the sky when she brings Max his first weather report (her childhood innocence allows her to notice subtleties most people would miss)
in a larger sense, they help cast the mood of the story and emphasize a connection between death and the natural world abandonment and guilt morality recognizing the symbolism: accordian colors titles of books ironically, Deaths aversion of the misery, brings him closer to the colors of that which is responsible (the red, black and white of the Nazi flag) for Liesel, Rosa and Max it becomes a symbol of distraction, hope and comfort for Hans it is a symbol of the man who saved his life it also seems to assert that - like literature - music and the arts can provide solace in times of great suffering red - from the sky during the bombing white - from the snow when Leisel's brother dies black - from the sky when the American plane crashes The Dream Carrier also since he is not directly involved in the plot, Hitler seems to become a symbol of oppression, persecution and evil "onto a thick soupy red" "The scribbled signature black" "onto the blinding global white" The Shoulder Shrug The Whistler The Grave Digger's Handbook The Last Human Stranger picked up by her brother's graveside, for Liesel The Grave Digger's Handbook becomes a symbol of great loss and sorrow as well as the end of one life and the beginning of another
it also marks her transition from illiterate to literate stolen from a pile of burning literature, The Shoulder Shrug becomes a symbol of defiance against Hitler and opens up a world of books (in the form of Ilsa's library)
also inspires Hans to use Mein Kampf in order to help Max stolen from the library at the Mayor's house, The Whistler becomes a symbol of her defiance against Ilsa (she will only enter through the window from then on)
later, when Rudy rescues it from the river, it also acts as a symbol of his love
it is the first book she reads in the bomb shelter after she reads it to him religiously while he is sick, The Dream Carrier functions as a symbol of Leisel's friendship with Max
also, it seems to connect to the fact that she literally carries the moment of her brother's death with her in her dreams as the last book she steals, The Last Human Stranger is perhaps a symbol of her struggle to keep hope, its title suggesting alienation
it can be thought of in two ways: either that there is only one stranger left in all of humanity OR assuming all humans are strangers - there is only one human left Leisel who thinks its her fault when Max gets sick; and who, in the end, has been 'abandoned' by her mother, brother, father, Hans, Rosa, Max and Rudy and consequently feels survivor's guilt
Hans who feels guilty after Erik dies along with the rest of his unit the day he stays home from battle (especially when he finds out he had a son)
Max who feels guilty for abandoning his family and putting the Hubermanns in such a positon, but also for wanting to live
Rudy who feels some guilt about his father being 're-enlisted'
Michael Holtzapfel who commits suicide because he feels guilty for living when his brother is dead Those who remain after a tragedy - the survivors - will always feel some guilt and distress for living which is one of the reasons Death finds humanity so haunting Death's voice, paired with his actions and combined with his presence in the characters' lives the Nazi propaganda which results in vile persecution
Leisel's defiance of the Nazis and their ideas on censorship when she steals a book from a burning pile of banned literature on Hitler's birthday
the book Max creates from the pages of Mein Kampf which forges a friendship and defies the Nazis by erasing their propaganda and replacing it with kindness Words have the power to influence our actions either for good or evil (connecting to the contrary nature of humanity - capable of so much beauty, yet such brutality) Everyone is going to die and it is our mortality which is characteristic of our humanity The last words of Leisel's autobiography says: "I have hated books and I have loved them, and I hope I have made them right" This is demonstrated through: the pervading question of morals as Leisel learns to see the Nazi party - the government she is suppose to respect - in an unfavorable light however, acting out against them brings unpleasant consequences as seen when Hans gives bread to the Jewish man and Max is forced to leave the shelter of their basement a symbol of: simplicity, peace, purity, youth and innocence a symbol of : fire, blood, violence, war and intensity a symbol of: fear, death, sadness, remorse, and anonymity it brings Leisel comfort and serves as a distraction after her nightmares
Rosa hangs onto it after Hans leaves for the army
for Max it is the reason he is at the Hubermann's and embodies the hope that he will survive By: this is demonstrated by: This is evidenced by: What is right and what is wrong is not always clear cut This is shown by: