Explain by describing his personality, his actions, and how he is different/similar to our idea of the grim reaper.
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"You want to know what I truly look like? I'll help you out. Find yourself a mirror while I continue."Death, p. 307
Far from being a Grim Reaper-like representation, The Book Thief's Death is a weary and cynical character with the relatively menial duty of carrying away the souls of the recently deceased. Yet Death's job is made more difficult by the sheer number of people who die by the hands of others in World War II -- Death seems to agonize most over the gas chambers, literal killing machines at Nazi death camps. Death thus takes a skeptical view of war and humanity itself, believing humanity to be capable of tremendous and irrational evils.