The Book Thief

The Book Thief

Discuss the symbolism of Death as the omniscient narrator of the novel. What are Death’s feelings for each victim? Describe Death’s attempt to resist Liesel. Death states, “I’m always finding humans at their best and worst. I see their ugly and their beauty, and I wonder how the same thing can be both.” (p. 491) What is ugly and beautiful about Liesel, Rosa and Hans Hubermann, Max Vandenburg, Rudy Steiner, and Mrs. Hermann? Why is Death haunted by humans?

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The thing about the character of Death is that he is very literal. He is a character in the book. His traits are vague but we certainly understand that he is confounded by all this misery. I don't think that Zuzac meant for us to deconstruct death so much. He literally takes all the symbolism that death entails and turns it into a character. Death if anything symbolizes a beleaguered outsider baffled by the paradoxes of human nature. He often muses about both the beauty and ugliness that humans are capable of.

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nothing is ugly or uglier than hans and the characters! they are Awesome!