Analysis of the Book Thief

Title: The Book Thief

Composer: Markus Zusak

Publication Details: 2005, Pan Macmillan Australia Pty Limited.

Form: Fiction Novel

Purpose/Audience: 19 – 39 readers, not gender/race/culture specific. Purpose is to entertain and enlighten.

Context: Set in 1939, Nazi Germany.

Explores the Holocaust and WWII from the point of view of Liesel, a little German girl who loses her mother and brother, gains a foster family and protects a Jewish man from the Nazis, loses her foster parents, her friends, her neighbours and the Jewish man to Death and Hitler, only to be reunited with them all again, her family and friends in death and the Jewish man in life when she is safe in Sydney, Australia when WWII finally ends.

Links to Belonging: Mortality, Identity and Suffering.

1. Mortality (People): Humanity is united by their mortality and they have to accept that we are going to die. By unifying the world of ‘The Book Thief’ under this theme, Zusak reiterates the fact that human beings are both equal and combined in the eyes of Death, no matter what they have done in life. Death and Humans all have the same relationship, they are all linked together.
• They were French, they were Jews, and they were you. (52.18) Death is talking about the death of a group of French Jews murdered in a Polish prison. This is to remind the reader of their humanity, untied by Death and also highlights how idiotic it is to kill another human being when they are going to die anyway.
• You are going to die. (1.6) Death presents dying as a unifier, the one thing that ties all humans together.
• At some point on time I will be standing over you, as genially as possible. Your soul will be in my arms. A colour will be perched on my shoulder. I will carry you gently away. (1.12) See. Death is saying this too all us. He doesn't discriminate. His vision of the moment after Death is rather comforting. But, do you think it's plausible? Why or why not?

2. Identity: Personal...