Markus Zusak’s, The Book Thief,’ is a clever play on words making me the reader “hate the words and love them.” Told from a third person view, which is death, mainly focuses on the protagonist, Leisel Meigner. Death is at its peak of doing its job as it is set during World War 2, hence Leisel representing the stereotypical life events during the time of the most deadly event in history. However personally and mentally different, being bought up in a society to have hatred and disgust towards a certain race, she has been brought up by her loveable, comforting Papa who adopted her with morals that would be seen perfect nowadays, accepting everyone who is innocent, was not exactly the right attitude during the period between 1939-1944. Leisel during the start of the War being a very young girl may not have understand any of this, especially when she was taken by her real mum to her new papa and Mama who would adopt her. This feeling of innocence and being controlled without any self power could almost be a reference between Liesel and the Jews.
I highly recommend this texts as Markus Zusak has cleverly constructed the way of how death is almost like a physical person, giving images of what it is like almost like Death has this job. Expand: Personally I feel when I do something exhilarating I realise death could be around the corner, and the author has incredibly used words saying how. “I know Leisel could feel me or have a sense of me as I walked past and extracted Papa’s sole.” We really get a different perspective on what obviously Markus Zusak pictures death as and I know personally and speaking on behalf of others that this connection he had with humans and Liesel was not exactly what I imagined. Liesel’s brother dying at the beginning almost fuels the book thief, with these vicious nightmares of her brother, and reading on how she reacts to them is something quite different to what we would see in today’s society, as she wants to read and learn words, which throughout the texts these nightmares have a powerful impact on the civilians of Molching, a poor neighbourhood on the outskirts of Munich.
During World War 2 the poverty rate in America was at an all time high of 35% of America, which I imagine would be seen throughout other countries that were heavily involved in the war, in the World we see today poverty and the poverty has severely decreased sitting around 15% although not decreasing significantly nowadays sitting around this percentage for 40 years and way below what was to be expected during this century. In the world we see today or what I see in the world is people taking for granted a dinner out with their family or a Sunday night roast, some kids don’t even eat a single vegetable. Rations of food at home were very low during the times of the war causing Liesel and Rudy to begin to steal from local farmers. “Pea soup, bread, sometimes a small portion of potatoes or meat. You ate it up and you didn’t ask for more, and you didn’t complain.” Throughout the world we see today even when children and teenagers parents buy them a chocolate bar for example, kids don’t even allow a bight. This shows the feeling of great kids throughout the world today have, which is often not a good thing as it leads into adulthood bad manners, and plainly rude, which I can imagine Liesel Meigner not to be as she grew old considering “sharing the fruit at their respective homes, but there was considerable danger in that.” Ironically this supposed to be called such a great race of the Germans according to the Fuhrer, end up having to steal of each other to survive. The fact that it would seem risky or suspicious to take a few apples home to Max in the basement portrays the world to be so safe, almost in a bad way. As we see the opposite the innocent being punished, and the bad being treated. Nowadays for example maybe when people who have committed such terrible crimes still are bought in food everyday in Jail cells, or people who hiding out from the police without even realising. This makes me angered as I want to make a change for this. I also understand poor children in third world countries nowadays still with the innocence of poorly feed children, without a choice or without power to change it, as they have literally been raised into these conditions. It’s such a heart-sickening problem that even these people even without out another race controlling them, have the problem of having children due to the risk of disease, or not being able to afford to feed them, but needing them to help support the family going into jobs at such young ages. We see throughout the world so many people like Liesel, supporting people in need, even when Liesel isn’t really in a position of her own to support. People nowadays are so caught up in their own world, and the drive for more and more money, with the idea that this will make you happy as we can see from Liesel’s experiences maybe not so much.
Connecting with aspects in this text is easy, although I can’t say I have been through such hard times. These hard times were brought upon when World War 2 was at its peak, all money being fuelled into the war and the economy of most countries completely at a low. Looking at the world today from a point of view for someone or a population of people who have not gone through this experience, we would expect the stereotypical person to be sad, have selfishness and not have a purpose or goal. This category is almost the opposite in some cases, which is highly ironic. I could see this being portrayed through the differences between for example Liesel and the mayor’s wife – Ilsa Hermann. Liesel sees the wrong in things easily, which I believe is like any level minded people these days. Seeing some good in people, for even what such rude things they done, is very impacting quality a human can have. I’ve learnt to do this and I can relate this to my own world as I have always said to myself in these uncomfortable and frustrating situations is if I do put my two sense in it will only drive the particular person more. In life you learn this quality from experiencing it and I believe Liesel gained this quality after she beat up the kid who was bullying her in class, this largely reflects on me and I can see that Liesel largely learnt from this. “the words were on their way, and when they arrived, Liesel would hold them in her hands like the clouds, and she would wring them out, like the rain.” A few years ago a friend of mine for no reason got really angry with me, I didn’t know how to react because it was completely out of the blue, I’ve grown up with people around me that have the correct response to all types of situations like this. I know you can have that memory of the incidence that happened and when it comes back around you have the power. I believe these types of people portray, and children values are highly bought up on who they are surrounded with and how these role models act. This is why the world down to small communities and schools needs powerful role models, to not just want to be there but to want to make a change.
Death, A main theme. The narration by death is powerful. Death you can sense and I know how Liesel felt losing someone who is very close to you. “Some facts about Hans Hubermann – He loved to smoke. He was a painter by trade and played the accordion at night.” These small things seem to stick and give the comfort Liesel has throughout her life knowing someone loves. Comfort is the feeling safety during the present time you are experiencing it. It can be stripped away from you just like that. I did not expect death to be portrayed in this way and we I came into the text I had never really thought of death to be an actual thing or human to run around extracting peoples soul. I more had a bias of death to just be an occurrence, a sad occurrence, and then it’s basically just a black hole like sleep. Deaths itself talks about the colours of the sky when somebody is so close to him as though he is there, ironically death is associated with darkness and black, which this death almost seemed to reversed. This brings up the idea that the author may have had a happy experience of death in his life for example someone who was very old and died peacefully. I can relate to Mr Zusak if this is the case as a old family member of mine past away a while back. Zusak may have used Liesel in a way to describe how he felt for example having those simple memories. These memories are forever in our hearts and you hold onto them and cherish them your whole life, I can think of the classic lolly jar that always sat above the pantry at my great nana’s house. Death was so common during ww2 that chain effect of emotion almost only reached the people closest to the loved one who past away and then stopped. Through the world today it is publicised and a chain reaction throughout the whole world of grief is in occurrence for example the terrible mass shooting at the Florida High School. Only similar between these two situations politically nothing is being done about it, this angers me a lot as people are being left alone without loved ones and have to go through such time, with those cherished memories to never occur in their life ever again. The fact this can happen in a blink of an eye is scary and I know the fear of death daunts every single person. Politically people can have the willpower to change this for example look at Singapore. Their crime rate and murder is the lowest in the world due to a strong powerful government who was willing to make a change.