The Book Thief

How does the author use symbols in the book for characterization?

Symbols for characterization?

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The characters themselves are very much symbols in the book. Hans represents a German who cares deeply for his fellow man, Jew or non-Jew. Max represents the Jewish fighting spirit, Liesel represents the enlightenment of literature. Actual symbols in the story of course are various books. These become an extension of Liesel. They represent her life as a story as she incorporates the stories she assimilates from the books. The accordion represents Hans. The music, laughter and communal love the accordion brings becomes an extension of Hans.