Markus Zuzak's The Book Thief

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The Painters: Early June is a segment of the latter part of Markus Zuzak’s ‘The Book Thief’. This passage from part five follows conventional narrative structure. It consists of paragraphs and an interjection from Death regarding Max’s basement visions. Death is the narrator in this section, with close proximity to Liesel’s thoughts. She is not the narrator, though her perspective is focused on out of the other characters. The reader is positioned to consider Death a reliable narrator, through both the rapport built up through the novel and the matter-of-fact tone he often adopts. Zuzak’s use of structure, narrator and perspective provides a framework for the scene to occur. The use of Death as a narrator contributes to a sense of stability which is a welcome feature considering the tumultuous events of the novel. This sense of stability is further built through the representation of a happy family. It creates the impression that they are (albeit temporarily) sheltered from the terrors of the war and provides for positive character development.…show more content…
Max’s character is depthened through the portrayal of his creativity and strength against his oppressor. Zuzak’s portrayal of Max fighting the Fuhrer shows his almost foolish bravery. This development is complemented by the brief positive portrayal of Rosa. Her affection for Liesel is shown through her endearing use of ‘saumensch’ Foreshadowing is a technique used by Zuzak in this section to give the reader hope for Max. Though an unpleasant image is created in the mind of the reader by Max’s vision, the reader feels a sense of hope through Death’s foreshadowing: “Max examined each and every page…Many months later, he would also paint over the cover of the book and give it a new title…”

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