The Book Thief

How does the literary technique of foreshadowing function in this text? How does it connect with larger themes in the novel?

Many details

Asked by
Last updated by jill d #170087
Answers 1
Add Yours

Foreshadowing is a literary technique in which events that occur later in a story are hinted at in advance. The narrator Death reveals almost all of the crucial events of The Book Thief in advance, especially when certain characters die and under what circumstances. In the prologue, Death explains that the novel will include, among other things, "a girl" (Liesel), "an accordionist" (Hans), and "a Jewish fist fighter" (Max). Death also reveals here the bombing raid that takes place at the end of the novel as well as the death of an American fighter pilot; Death describes Liesel as a "perpetual survivor," indicating that she lives through the war while others around her die. The Book Thief contains a great deal of foreshadowing: hints and outright revelations about the characters' fates and the outcomes of various events can be found in every part. Zusak's use of this technique keeps the reader's focus on the actual processes by which the characters meet their ends and emphasizes the futility of the characters' individual actions in the face of an all-consuming war.