Markus Zusak's The Book Thief

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The Book Thief As people read and analyze texts they often pick up on themes that are very evident within those texts. “The significance of words” is one of these themes in Markus Zusak’s novel The Book Thief. A reader can see how Liesel develops and becomes more powerful because of words. They observe how Hitler was able to convince a whole nation to follow him through words even though what he was doing was undoubtedly immoral. They also identify how words helped Max stay alive. It is reasonable to claim that without the theme of “the significance of words” The Book Thief could not have been written because this theme is so influential throughout the whole plot as Liesel learns the power of words by stealing books and by writing them. Without words her life would not have been what her life was.…show more content…
At the beginning the reader is shown how a simple word, “a label she did not understand”, changes her whole life (Zusak). Had her father not been a communist it is likely that her whole story would have been different. Although inconspicuous to her, this is the first experience that she has with the power of words and the consequence that one single word can have on the life of an individual. However, she continues to have encounters with words and their power her entire life. In the middle of the book it can also be seen how learning to read transforms her viewpoint on life, “once, words had rendered Liesel useless, but now… she felt an innate sense of power,” (147). In the end, words end up saving Liesel’s life. Had she not been in the basement writing her story, she wouldn’t have lived through the bombing. It is also through writing her story she realizes that somewhere in her story she had discovered the value of words. “When she came to write her story, she would wonder when the books and the words started to mean not just something, but

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