The Book Thief Narrative

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It is often assumed that every occupant of Nazi Germany either hated the Jews or knowingly ignored their hardships; however, that is not entirely true. There were some Germans who attempted to make a difference. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak is a historical fiction novel about the life of a young German girl. Liesel is a young orphan growing up in a poor town in Nazi Germany. Although as far-fetched as it sounds, stealing books is what keeps her alive in the end. This is a unique story about how an adolescent girl copes with harsh circumstances, and it is narrated by Death himself. In the beginning, Death visits two children who are traveling to a foster home by train. The brother is why he came, whereas the sister, Liesel, is mourning. She …show more content…
Near the beginning of the novel the narrator, who is Death, says “that at some point in time…your soul will be in my arms” (Zusak 10). How many books are narrated by Death? Also, there is not a lot of suspense. For example, the reader is specifically told that people will die way before they actually do. Not even halfway into the book, the reader is told that Rudy “didn’t deserve to die the way he did” (Zusak 194). Then the reader finds out that “[Rudy] was a month from his death,” when Liesel told him about Max (Zusak 414). Basically, Death told the readers that Rudy was going to die young multiple times throughout the entire book. Apparently, there should not be any surprises in his opinion. Plus, Death occasionally describes himself with humanlike emotions. When Death spotted Liesel for the first time, he claimed that “curiosity got the better of me” (Zusak 14). Usually, humans do not associate Death with the characteristics of a person. Common belief is that a person just dies, not that Death is a “person” who comes to collect the souls of those whose time has come. Not to mention, curiosity is almost never associated with Death because it is so straightforward. Later, Death even says that “[Rudy] steps on my heart. He makes me cry” (Zusak 424). Death cried when a boy died. Actually, he is the only person Death cries for in this novel. He did not think such a carefree, loving boy was ready to die so young. …show more content…
Many characters in The Book Thief idolize Adolf Hitler. One such person is Frau Diller, who owned a shop that had “a framed photo of the Führer. If you walked into her shop and didn’t say ‘heil Hitler’, you wouldn’t be served” (Zusak 45). Clearly, she was a proud supporter of Hitler and what the Nazi party stood for. Hitler’s birthday is also a big deal in the novel. By planning a book burning, “Molching, like the rest of Germany, was in the grip of preparing for Hitler’s birthday” (Zusak 91). There was a whole celebration and parade planned for Adolf Hitler because of his victories for Germany. During the book burning there was an “onslaught of ‘heil Hitlering’” (Zusak 100). Obviously, Hitler held a lot of power and influence over the German population at that time. Even German children were a major part of the war effort. Shortly after arriving at her foster home, “Liesel tried on her new uniform. Ten years old meant Hitler Youth” (Zusak 38). Hitler Youth units were formed during World War II due to the fact that Germany was lacking supplies and manpower. As the Jews are paraded through town, it is mentioned that “perhaps the death camps were kept a secret, but at times, people were shown the glory of a labor camp like Dachau” (Zusak 312). This is a reference to the Holocaust. The Nazis threw millions of Jews into death and labor camps during the Second World War. All of these facts and occurrences make it

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