Book Thief Power

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1/10/15 The Beautiful, Ghastly, and Immense Power of Words George Orwell once said “But if thought corrupts language, language can also corrupt thought.” ("Quotes About Power Of Words.")In Markus Zusak’s The Book Thief, these words are exemplified through the theme of words and their power to blind people of the truth, and the chance to manipulate any man into changing his mind completely. In this novel, due to the realization of many individuals that they have great power, words are used to strongly influence people and events. The power of words can be seen in this novel through words used to create goodness, comfort, and sanity in a time of war, the ability of words to change someone’s mind, and the power of words to make the choice…show more content…
First off, when Liesel begins to read she become a smarter and more individualized person. When Liesel was able to read she felt empowered; “once, words had rendered Liesel useless, but now… she felt an innate sense of power” (Zusak 147). When Liesel could not read she also had a hard time understanding the things that were happening around her. Through reading she was able to think more logical, and was able to open herself to the evils that were happening around her. The power of the words to give knowledge is the reason that Liesel is as smart as she is. Secondly, words have the power to bring people together and give people a sense of community. Hans Hubermann and Liesel form a relationship through the power of words. Their relationship is centered on words and allows them to bond; “’With a smile like that,’ Hans Hubermann said, ’you don’t need eyes.’”(Zusak 68) Their relationship makes Liesel…show more content…
Using certain speaking strategies or certain vocabulary someone is able to trigger reactions within someone that normally would seem illogical. This can allow leaders to come to power without any qualifications. The biggest example of this is Adolf Hitler and his overtaking of Germany. Adolf Hitler had no qualifications, but he knew the power of words and how to harness that power; “Yes, the Fuhrer decided that he would rule the world with words. ‘I will never fire a gun,’ he devised. ‘I will not have to’” (Zusak 445). The only reason Hitler came to power was through his words and how he was able to use them to deceive and blind people to his injustice. Hitler’s words were so powerful that he turned a whole nation to hating a certain race that did not deserve it; it was an irrational hate. Another example of words being used to delude the public was the censorship of books; all other powerful words must be destroyed to have a completely unbiased notion. Towards the beginning of the book Hitler’s birthday was celebrated by the burning of Jewish books; “Today is a beautiful day,’ he continued. ‘Not only is it our great leader’s birthday-but we also stop our enemies once again. We stop them reaching into our minds….’” (Zusak 110) In celebration of Adolf’s birthday there is a large bonfire to get rid of ideas that oppose Hitler’s viewpoint. He knows that other words and opinions have the chance of turning people away

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