The Book Thief

what is the significance of words for our characters and for our author

how are words important

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The very title "The Book Thief" gives us an indication as to the power of words. Liesel feels impotent until she discovers the power that the written word holds. She steals books at great peril to soak up their meaning and their power. The other characters too appreciate the power of words but not with the passion of Liesel. If anything they borrow her passion and energy. Liesel comes to understand that the greatest threat to the Nazis is words. The written word carries ideas and ideas are bulletproof.