The Book Thief

What is the impact of having Death narrate the story?

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Death is our guide and narrator to The Book Thief. Interestingly, he in some ways seems pretty human. For example, he has real feelings. We see him experience both sadness and joy in the novel. He even gets depressed. It seems like the poor guy hasn't had a vacation since he started working. He might not even have had a coffee break. And, let's face it, his job is about as depressing as it gets. To help distract him from his sad and never-ending work, he often fixates on the color of the sky at the time of each human death.

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http://www.shmoop.com/book-thief/death.html

The Book Thief‘s narrator is none other than Death himself, though we aren’t given to understand his nature aside from the fact that he doesn’t own a scythe, wears the robes for comfort, and is apparently prone to wistful and melancholic contemplation of the human race. And rather obsequious narration of all this. But it’s fitting, I suppose, that a kindler, gentler Death be our tour guide; his relative omniscience gives explanation where necessary, and the nature of his task is the preoccupation of the book. It is about World War II, after all.

The narrator, by his own admission, cares little for leaving surprises until the end; he’ll routinely say that this character or that will die at the end of a particular section, and then return to his narration. The “why” and “how” is much more important than the “what”, according to him, which is a common (and, admittedly, true) device that I’ve talked about before. Though the “why” and “how” in Nazi Germany in the middle of the Allies’ bombing campaigns is also considerably less interesting, since most of the “how” that occurs in The Book Thief is dumb, violent misfortune.

In stark contrast to the story, which, though touching, is one of a tempest, Zusak’s prose is structured, elegant, and rich like chocolate. One effect of a narration by Death is that the usual points of distraction are blasé, and one notices the craft with which terrible things are described. That Death, soon after carefully cradling the soul of a suicide, makes his exit “into the breakfast-colored sun”. These sorts of phrases initially seem nonsensical until one actually stops to think just what “breakfast-colored” is; the idea is Zusak’s, but the creation of the color is the reader’s. I love this approach to description; it has the potential for so much more power than if the author does a more straightforward comparison.

Source(s)

http://heliologue.com/2011/03/07/the-book-thief/

The impact comes in the irony of it all. As stated above, Death works as a catalyst between the mortal life and the after life. This gives us the sense of the fantastical as well as grounds us through the seemingly endless carnage of man's folly.

having death to narrate the book thief, foreshadows the book. so for example death tells us the rudy is going to die way before he does, so then the reader would keep reading until they figure out how rudy died. it also makes us imagine death as something else than we thought. for example, we thought that death is this mean character that kills people. while in the book he is sometimes nice and helps.

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"the book thief"

In stark contrast to the story, which, though touching, is one of a tempest, Zusak’s prose is structured, elegant, and rich like chocolate. One effect of a narration by Death is that the usual points of distraction are blasé, and one notices the craft with which terrible things are described. That Death, soon after carefully cradling the soul of a suicide, makes his exit “into the breakfast-colored sun”. These sorts of phrases initially seem nonsensical until one actually stops to think just what “breakfast-colored” is; the idea is Zusak’s, but the creation of the color is the reader’s. I love this approach to description; it has the potential for so much more power than if the author does a more straightforward comparison. The impact comes in the irony of it all. As stated above, Death works as a catalyst between the mortal life and the after life. This gives us the sense of the fantastical as well as grounds us through the seemingly endless carnage of man's folly. having death to narrate the book thief, foreshadows the book. so for example death tells us the Rudy is going to die way before he does, so then the reader would keep reading until they figure out how rudy died. it also makes us imagine death as something else than we thought. for example, we thought that death is this mean character that kills people. while in the book he is sometimes nice and helps.

This isnt exactly an answer but could somebody help me write in deaths perspective? im writing a narrative and i loved death in the book thief! please and thank you

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