Introduction: The Book Thief is a novel written in 2005 by Markus Zusak and was set during World War II in Germany, Nazi Germany at the time. This novel includes themes such as Friendship, Death and War. The novel is not only about hiding a Jewish person in your family and having to hide everything from your best friend, But It’s also about the unfortunate deaths during the World War II. The purpose of this essay is to analyse a character, which is Death. Death is the narrator of this whole story. He is a static character.
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He is the one telling us the story in his view because he thinks it’s such an interesting story to tell and that we can all sympathies to it. I will be reading the whole novel to see what type of character he is and how is he portrayed in the story by Markus Zusak. Starting with a brief outline of the plot, I will then give a brief outline of the characters as well. Then giving a brief outline of the language and style used in this novel. Finally, I will analyse Death as a character and look at the use of Death as a narrator in The Book Thief, by Markus Zusak. In addition, the essay will demonstrate how different Death is portrayed compared to what humans think Death will be like as a character in the novel. Therefore, by analysing the character in the novel, and looking at how It’s portrayed, as Death most of the time doesn’t come as a character but more of as a natural thing that happens to people, I will get to answer the following research question: To what extent is the character Death in the novel The Book Thief different from our preconception of Death? Background Information of The Novel: The Book Thief is a novel written in 2005 by the Australian writer Markus Zusak.
Zusak was born in Sydney, Australia. His mother is originally from Germany and his father is from Austria. Which is why we can clearly see that he has interest in topics such as the World War and it’s also another reason why he wrote The Book Thief.
His parents later emigrated in the 1950s to Australia. Markus is the youngest out of four children. He has two sisters and one brother. He also majored in English and History at the University of New South Wales. Zusak started his career as writer from a young age and he is currently 42 years old.
He is already known to be one of today’s most innovative and incredible novelists. Even though The Book Thief was his way into recognition, he had other different books that won him world-recognition awards and they are: The Underdog, Fighting Ruben Wolfe, Getting the Girl, and I Am the Messenger. The Book Thief is narrated by Death. The story revolves around Liesel Meminger, The main character is Liesel Meminger, a nine-year old German girl who lives in Molching, Germany. She’s adopted by the Hubermanns after her father leaves their family, her brother dies, & her mother is forced to send her to a foster home due to her political belief, communism, which is forbidden at the time. The novel consists of Liesel’s lifestyle when she arrives to her foster parents’s house, Rosa and Hans Hubermann in the small town of Molching in 1939, shortly before World War II.
On their way to Molching, Liesel’s younger brother Werner dies, and she is traumatised for life. She also started experiencing nightmares about him for months. Hans Hubermann is a gentle man who brings Liesel comfort.
Liesel found a book from the cemetery where her brother was buried and took it and Hans started helping her learn to read so can understand the book. During her stay at her foster parent’s house, she befriends her neighbour, a boy named Rudy Steiner, who falls in love with her. Liesel later find out from books that her father was prosecuted for being a Communist, and that her mother was also likely killed by the Nazis for being a Communist as well. Communism was forbidden during that era.
After thats she started stealing more books which shows us her interest for reading. Hans Hubermann had a kept a promise to a man who saved his life previously which made him agree to hide a Jewish man named Max Vandenberg in his basement. This was before the Second World War, meaning before Hitler killed all the Jews in Germany. Liesel and Max become close friends as he is staying in her home.
Max writes Liesel two stories about their friendship, both of which are found in the novel. Hans publicly gives bread to an old Jew being sent to a concentration camp, Max must leave, and Hans is drafted into the military at a time when air raids over major German cities were escalating in terms of frequency and fatality. Liesel learnt that Hitler’s propaganda is to blame for the war and the Holocaust and the death of her biological family.
Liesel writes the story of her life in the Hubermanns’ basement, where she miraculously survives an air raid that kills Hans, Rosa, Rudy, and everyone else on her block. Liesel survives the war, as does Max. She goes on to live a long life and dies at an old ageThe novel itself has many themes such as Friendship, Death and War.
But the book is narrated by Death which doesn’t give us a view on Liesel’s feelings, giving the reader a very mysterious insights into the character’s mind. The novel is also a way of showcasing the horrible unfortunate events from the World War II.