Part 4 ends with The Standover Man.…In part 5, the author continues to develop their relationship….
Page 242 “even death has a heart….” A flash forward where Death foreshadows 2 events o Rudy’s jumping into the river to save Liesel’s book and then asks for a kiss o Rudy’s death **Why do you suppose the narrator Flashed forward to Rudy’s death? **
Page 243 “it started with gambling.” Gambling analogy begins, turning into an extended metaphor Analogy: “Roll a die by hiding a Jew and this is how you live. This is how it looks” (page 243) Death compares hiding a Jew to gambling, to rolling a die, which is made up of seven sides. He uses this metaphor to describe the seven major events he discusses in this chapter that result from his gamble
#1:The Haircut: Mid 1941 “the feathery appearance of Max Vandenburg…” (245) “As she cut the feathery strands, she wondered at the sound of the scissors” (245) “…he disappeared again, back into the ground.” (245)
#2: The Newspaper: Early May Why does Liesel keep repeating to herself, “there is a Jew in basement?” Why does she want to whisper it into the mayor’s wife’s ear? “…her thieving was not gratuitous. She only stole books on what she felt was a need-to-have basis” (246)
The mayor’s library Safe haven? Why do you think the mayor’s wife allows her, and seems to like her, coming over to sit in her library? The Mud Men- not a real book The Shoulder Shrug- not a real book (she stole this from the fire…)
Page 246“Finding a newspaper was a good day….” Liesel brings the newspaper to Max (even better when the crosswords are not done yet) His way to the outside world, but also WORDS…
Words & Unity “She would make her way home, shut the door behind her, and take it (the newspaper) down to Max” (247) “Where Hans Hubermann and Eric Vandenburg were ultimately united by music, Liesel and Max were held together by the quiet gathering of words” (248) Max would quiz her on words and then they would stand and paint those words on the wall, up to a dozen times. “Together, Max Vandenburg and Liesel Meminger would take in the odor of paint fumes and cement” (248)
The “color” of Max “picture of pale concentration” “Beige colored skin. A swamp in each eye. And he breathed like a fugitive. Desperate and soundless.” (248)
#3 The Weatherman: Mid May “Could you go up and tell me how the weather looks?” (249) “The sky is blue today Max, and there is a big long cloud, and it’s stretched out, like a rope. At the end of it, the sun is like a yellow hole….”
The wall written words of Max… “It was Monday, and they walked on A tightrope to the sun” (249)
#4 The Boxer: End of May Who is the “he” referred to at the top of page 250? Who is Max “fighting” every day? “What great malice there could be in allowing such a thing to live” (250)- who/what? Liesel’s weather reports continue… o “pure blue sky” o “cardboard clouds” o “a sun that had broken through like God sitting down after he’d eaten too much for his dinner”
Page 250 “he often checked if his skin was flaking…” Why does Max feel that he is “dissolving?” What does he do to counter those feelings?
Max VS Hitler What he needed was a series of new projects…” o The first was exercise “When he was finished, he would sit against the basement wall with his paint-can friends, feeling his pulse in his teeth. His muscles felt like cake” (251) “In the blue corner…the Aryan masterpiece” “And in the red corner, we have the Jewish, rat faced challenger- Max Vandenburg”
Page 251 “around him, it all materialized” Hitler: “…red and white robe, with a black swastika burned to its back. His mustache was knitted to his face. Words were whispered to him from his trainer….He smiled loudest when the ring announcer listed his many achievements…’undefeated’….over many a Jew, and over any other threat to the German ideal!” Max: “no robe. No entourage. Just a lonely young Jew with dirt breath, a naked chest, and tired hands and feet….naturally, his shorts were gray.
Page 253 “Jewish blood was everywhere” Max fights for every Jew “Like red rain clouds on the white-sky canvas at their feet” Why would Max image the eyes of Hitler as being “deliciously brown?” (his eyes were in fact very blue
Pg. 254 “Max Vandenburg could feel the fists of an entire nation….” Read the speech….analyze rhetorically Stops fighting Max to give a speech…turns the tables against Max (demonizes him) “The words were visible. They dropped from his mouth like jewels” “Will you climb up on the ring with me?...Will you climb in here so that we can defeat this enemy together?” (254) “Nothing but dark now. Just basement. Just Jew.”
#5 “The New Dreams: A Few Nights Later” “Every night I wait in the dark and the Fuhrer comes down these steps. He walks down and he and I, we fight for hours” (255)
Pg. 256 “There’s a Jew and a German standing in a basement, right. This however, was no joke” Liesel asks, who wins? “At first, he was going to answer that no one did, nut then he noticed the paint cans, the drop sheets, and the growing pile of newspapers in the periphery of his vision. He watched the words, the long cloud, and the figures on the wall.” “I do,” he said.
#6 “The Painters: Early June” “Months later he would also paint over the cover of that book and give it a new title, after one of the stories he would write and illustrate inside it” (257) The Word Shaker….”basement visions” (257) Why does it “feel good to be a painter”
“two days after Germany invaded Russia…” VIDEO here
Page 257 “seven”……bad luck? “You roll and watch it coming, realizing completely that is no regular die. You claim it to be bad luck, but you’ve known all along that it had to come. You brought it into the room. The table could smell your breath. The Jew was sticking out of your pocket from the outset. He’s smeared to your lapel, and the moment you roll, you know it’s a seven- the one thing that somehow finds a way to hurt you. It lands. It stares you in each eye, miraculous and loathsome, and you turn away with it feeding in your chest….” Just bad luck.
Page 258 “you hide a Jew, you pay…” “deep down, you know that this small piece of changing fortune is a signal of things to come.” (rolling a seven)
Page 259 “it was the sound of a grave…” “Her voice, lumpy from lack of use, coughed out the words. ‘I’m sorry. It’s for your mama.’” “…she realized that clocks don’t make a sound that even remotely resembles ticking tocking. It was more the sound of a hammer, upside down, hacking methodically at the earth. It was the sound of a grave.” o What is meant in this passage? What is the literal and figurative meanings at work? “felt like the greatest betrayal” (250) o How does this statement by Liesel illustrate irony?
Physical power of words Read from the top of page 252 to the bottom of 253 and COUNT how many times the word “word(s)” is used. Notice the power. Liesel “sprayed her words directly into the woman’s eyes” (252)…. “The injury of words. Yes, the brutality of words. She summoned them from some place she only now recognized and hurled them at Ilsa Hermann” “she was battered and beaten up, and not from smiling this time….Blood leaked from her nose…eyes had blackened…cuts had opened…a series of wounds were rising to the surface of her skin. All from the words. From Liesel’s words” (253) o How does Ilsa react?
Compare/Contrast: How does each character use the physical power of words? Max VS HitlerLiesel VS Ilsa
Page 256 “they slept, very much in Munich…” “but somewhere on the seventh side of Germany’s die.” These words close out the gambling analogy/metaphor of hiding a Jew…but is it resolved? How does this seemingly ambiguous ending lead readers into the next scenes of the novel?
Rudy Do you think he thinks the world is a good place or a bad place?
The new Arthur Berg Viktor Chemmel “We must take what is rightfully ours!” (273)- Viktor quotes Hitler “…he possessed a certain charisma, a kind of follow me.” (273) How is Viktor like Hitler?
Page 274, “it was a nice microcosm…” Defined as “human beings, humanity, society, or the like, viewed as an epitome or miniature of the world of universe” What does the author mean in this situation?
“Sketches” “The desecrated pages of Mein Kampf were becoming a series of sketches, page after page, which to him summed up the events that had swapped his former life for another.” (278) Look at the image on page 280- in what ways does this sketch illustrate irony?
Page 283 “I need a win, Liesel” They had to steal something…. “It was the book she wanted. The Whistler. She wouldn’t tolerate having it given to her by a lonely, pathetic old woman. Stealing it on the hand seemed a little more acceptable. Stealing it, in a sick kind of way, was kind of like earning it.” (287) Liesel “starves” for books as Rudy starves for food… “She could smell the pages. She could almost taste the words as they stacked up around her.” (288)
Page 292 “good night book thief” The first time Liesel had been “branded” with her title, and “she couldn’t hide the fact that she liked it very much.”
“The frozen motives of Rudy…” Rudy is continually described as “hungry.” Beyond physically, in what ways is Rudy “hungry?” “His only chance to revel in some victory…” (303) o Why do you think the author ends part 5 with two chapters, back to back, of Rudy’s failures and issues?