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The Book Thief - Summer Reading Project

Mikaela Kufrovich and Alexis Fichtel
by

Mikaela Kufrovich

on 5 October 2012

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Transcript of The Book Thief - Summer Reading Project

"The Book Thief"
Markus Zusak Quotations Conflict Symbols Accordion “Liesel, in the act of watching, was already noticing the similarities between this stranger and herself.. They both arrived in a state of agitation on Himmel Street. They both nightmared.” (Zusak 206) “Lisel came out. The hugged and cried and fell to the floor.” (Zuzak 548) “They became good friends, and when the man was sick, the word shaker allowed a single teardrop to fall on his face. The tear was made of friendship – a single word – and it dried and became a seed.” (Zusak 446) Mikaela Kufrovich & Alexis Fichtel
Ms. Obas - Period 4
4 October 2012 Setting The Life of the
Word-Shaker Liesel has first discovered this strange man, Max, sleeping in her room. Even though she has never met him, she already feels as though they have a connection. This quote is significant to the motif of friendship because it foreshadows that maybe the stranger and Liesel will have a relationship. Their relationship will be a difficult one to have, because she is German and he is Jewish, and their friendship would be frowned upon. The following quote came from a book that Max gave Liesel for her birthday before he left. In the quote, the seed represents friendship, at first Liesel and Max were two strangers, but now they have grown closer and a seed has been planted. With time the seed will grow and blossom into a friendship that both Liesel and Max need. After the war is over, Max returns from the concentration camps and visits Alex Stiners shop. By doing this he hopes to find Liesel again, and he is successful. This quote shows that the “seed” of friendship" never died, even through the rough times and the war, the seed still prospered. The forbidden seed blossomed into a beautiful flower that can now be shown to the world. The setting takes place in the outskirts of Munich on a street named Himmel. At first the narrator describes the streets in a gloomy, spiteful way to show how Liesel is feeling about being abandoned by her own mother. As the story progresses, Liesel begins to enjoy living with her foster parents. She even makes friends with the Jewish man that’s hiding in her basement. Because she is happier, the attitude toward the town changes. Alexis' Theme Paragraph
It takes a large amount of courage to do things that can establish who one is as a person. Liesel Meminger is put in many situations that require courage to make big life changing decisions. The biggest situation that Liesel was put in was whether or not to keep her secret about being friends with a Jewish man. Her courage comes to her when she sees max looking for her in one of the parades. “The book thief stepped onto the road. Never had a movement been such a burden. Never had a heart been so definite and big in her adolescent chest. She stepped forward and said, very quietly, ‘He’s looking for me’” (Zuzak 510). Liesel made the courage to show the world that she cared for a Jewish man. She did not care about the consequences of her actions, instead she did what she thought was right, and at the end it paid off. The narrator, Death, views his duty as dismal and constant. He distracts himself from the endless task by comparing the color of the sky to the life that the dead have led, allowing him to gain insight into that person's life. This provides an outlet for some of the depression because by focusing on the colors, he does not have to think about the soul leaving Earth. The colors also serve as keys to unlock certain memories. Death recalls the white, black, and red to describe the instances he has seen her, setting her apart from the millions of other people he has met. These colors create the mood of the story through imagery. Whether it is the grey overcast symbolizing difficult times or a red sky foreshadowing death, the colors play a huge role on how the audience prepares for the upcoming chapter. They also connect to the setting of Nazi Germany because the colors Death sees around Liesel are the colors that make up the Nazi flag, relating to one of the main conflicts. The accordion is a central symbol for each of the main characters. It acts as a similar source of comfort for them as the colors do for Death. It all begins with Papa’s life being saved by Erik Vandenburg during WWII. The accordion belonged to Vandenburg, so when Papa brings it home, it forges a link between the two families. Papa finds comfort and friendship when he plays, but the accordion also creates a message of hope to him.
When Max hears Papa play the accordion, he thinks of a father he did not know and how he has survived so far undetected. It serves as proof to Max that he too can survive. Physically, the accordion is essentially what unites the two families and forever changes them and their opinions. From the moment Liesel arrives, the accordion is a symbol of hope and comfort. Her fondest memories of Hans are when he played for her. It is what causes the relationship between Papa and Liesel to flourish as she adjusts to her new home. As her words become her outlet, the music still has a soothing affect on her. Then, when she finds it in the rubble of Munich, it becomes a reminder of her great loss, but it is also means that she has survived. When Hans leaves for Essen, Rosa stares at the accordion at night, never daring to play a note. Hans becomes the accordion to her, and the reader is now aware of how much Rosa cares for Hans. She longs for her husband so much that just staring fills her with memories. At first, the snow is described as “murky” but as she becomes more content, her actions reflect this changing mood. She even builds a snowman with Max and her foster parents. As the novel comes to an end, the setting changes because Liesel can no longer live on Himmel Street. It serves as a reminder to her about the loved ones she's lost and the memories she has there. There is constant conflict in Liesel about her friendship with Max. Externally, society tells her that it is wrong to think of him as a human being because he is Jewish. This leads to her attempting to determine her own feelings in a controlling government set on suppressing her individuality. Through their words, Liesel realizes how much they have in common, and these similarities trigger Liesel's thinking, especially at the parade. She makes the decision to stand up for her friend as he struggles and she rebels against the typical way of thinking. The broad setting of Nazi Germany during WWII causes internal and external conflict with Liesel. Colors Work Cited Zusak, Markus. The Book Thief. New York: Random House Children's Books , 2005. Print. Mikaela's Theme Paragraph Mortality has a significant influence on the quality of lives led by all human beings. Although it is not thought about every day, it trails behind everyone, at every moment with few pausing to examine its impact. There is no questioning or preventing it, only making living life to the fullest a priority. In Markus Zusak’s The Book Thief, every character’s fate is spoiled by Death from the very beginning, stripping it of wonder. This forces the reader to concentrate on the relationships and how each character develops before meeting their end. The characters demonstrate that it is the journey taken that determines what colors are left behind.
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