Presentation on theme: "THE BOOK THIEF. The story is narrated by ‘Death’ – what impact does this have? ‘Death’ as the narrator is reluctant to do his ‘job’. He is sentimental."— Presentation transcript:
THE BOOK THIEF
The story is narrated by ‘Death’ – what impact does this have? ‘Death’ as the narrator is reluctant to do his ‘job’. He is sentimental and cares for souls: - He is “haunted by humans” p584 Max and Liesel have been touched by death and loss are haunted by death in their nightmares Death is all around: Devastation of war Hatred of the Jews- loss of freedom and identity
Frau Hermann’s grief following the loss of her son is evident. Michael Holtzapfel hangs himself after his brother dies in war
‘The consequence of this is that I’m always finding humans at their best and worst. I see their ugly and their beauty, and I wonder how the same thing can be both...’ (p584) The novel describes Rudy Steiner: ‘In years to come he would be a giver of bread, not a stealer – proof again of the contradictory human being. So much good, so much evil. Just add water.'(p 178) Even ‘Death’ cannot comprehend how humans can be so cruel and yet so good at the same time. Human compassion and kindness Hans’ patience in teaching Liesel and his selflessness through buying her the books for Christmas Hans helps Max by allowing him to stay with the family, despite the obvious risks Frau Hermann sharing her books with Liesel
Erik Vandenburg (Max’ father) saves Hans’ life Walter helps Max to initially escape the concentration camps Hans gives one of the starving Jewish camp prisoners a piece of bread- a risky decision Max and Liesel’s friendship, developed amidst war and suffering Rudy leaves a teddy bear on the chest of the American pilot who crashes his plane (Part Nine) Hans and Rosa accepting Liesel into their home, despite their own lack of wealth and food Brutality of humanity Suffering endured by Max, Liesel and many other characters in the novel The atrocities committed in the war, the persecution and deaths of millions of Jews The horrors of war, e.g. The dying pilot scene “I am haunted by humans” p584
Hans rebels against Hitler and the Nazis by hiding Max in his basement He is trying to uphold his beliefs and morals in a society where they are not tolerated and accepted. “Since 1933, 90% of Germans showed unflinching support for Adolf Hitler. That leaves 10% who didn’t. Hans Hubermann belonged to the 10%” p65 Who else shows courage in the novel?
Liesel finds solace and sanity in books she has stolen or salvaged from the Nazi bonfires of banned books. The Shoulder Shrug- stolen at the bonfire Liesel develops a bond with the Mayor’s wife after she is allowed into the library. She is striving for knowledge at a time when ideas are being squashed She is comforted by reading after her nightmares She is able to tell her own story through her book Max’ books “ The Word Shaker” and “The Standover Man” “she knew how powerless a person could be without words” – (Max, The Word Shaker p476)
“The words. Why did they have to exist? Without them, there wouldn't be any of this. Without words, the Führer was nothing.” – Liesel p553 She “wanted to kill the words” p554 ‘It was a nation of farmed thoughts…our Führer also planted seeds to create symbols.'(p 475) Max's story suggests that Hitler's power lay in the words he planted She said it audibly now, to the orange-lit room. "What good are the words?"(p.521) I have hated the words and I have loved them, and I hope I have made them right. (p.528) Liesel understands how words are used to invoke and spread feelings of hatred during the war, and how powerful they can be (i.e. To the Nazi Party) Gravediggers Handbook is a link to Liesel’s past. Why?
Storytelling – The Book Thief, ultimately saves Liesel “The words were on their way, and when they arrived, Liesel would hold them out like the clouds and she would wring them out like the rain” p85 Liesel reads aloud to calm everyone as they await the bomb raids Frau Hermann gives Liesel a blank book to record her story. Liesel reads aloud to Frau Holtzapfel as a favour Max and Mein Kampf He carries it with him on his journey to Munich, which saves him from the German soldiers He uses it to make The Standover Man (he paints over the words)
Liesel and Rosa “a woman with an iron fist” Made to clean Frau Holtzapfel’s spit off the doorstep, made to help with the housework and ironing “She did love Liesel Meminger..her way of showing it just happened to be strange. It involved bashing her with wooden spoon and words..” p35 Liesel and Hans The accordion Education in the basement, and night-time reading He buys her two books for Christmas after selling his cigarettes Hans gains Liesel’s trust early on when she is suffering from nightmares every night “a stranger to kill the aloneness”. He convinces Liesel to take a bath when she arrives in Molching. His eyes were made of “kindness, and silver” p34
Liesel and Max Max makes a book for Liesel as a birthday present (The Standover Man) Max and Liesel have many things in common Max asks Liesel to cut his hair The Word Shaker is a symbol of their strong friendship which has developed throughout Max’ stay with the Hubermanns. Liesel diligently watched the Jewish marches looking out for Max, signifying her affection and hope for Max. “Often I wish this would all be over, Liesel but then you go and do something like walk down the stairs with a snowman in your hands” p313 Rudy and Liesel A strong friendship from the start “He was there for her at the beginning and he would be there later on... But he wouldn’t do it for free” p53 Liesel finally gives Rudy the kiss he always wanted after he dies from the bombs in Himmel Street.
Max’ guilt for leaving his family behind to be arrested Feels guilty for sleeping in Liesel’s room like a guest and moves into the basement Liesel’s guilt at calling Frau Hermann “a pathetic woman” Rudy feels guilty for his father being drafted into the Nazi Party to fight in the war Frau Holtzapfel’s son’s guilt at wanting to live while his brother is dead.
Liesel is unsure of her identity as she is taken away from her family to be raised with an unknown foster family She suffers ridicule at school because she cannot read well Through her education at home with Hans, Liesel creates her own identity as she becomes independent in her reading. She becomes the ‘Book Thief’