Book Thief Essay

3. Analyse how language features were used to capture the reader’s imagination.

Part 1. Colours
Red: blood, fire, war, Nazi flag    White: purity, cold, harsh     Black: Death,

Part 2. Books

Part 3. Death as the Narrator


2.9 Reading response No.4


Washed up writer Hank Moody spends his time getting drunk and lusting after his engaged ex and trying to be friends with his teenage daughter, whilst his previously illustrious career plummets downwards. Hank moved his family to LA in search of making money in Hollywood, but ends up losing pretty much everything due to a series of mistakes and his abrupt personality. Californication follows the hedonistic lifestyle of Hank and his best friend/agent Charlie Runkle.

Hank is the main character in Californication but he is also the most important. Normally the most important characters in texts or movies are the side characters that teach not only the viewer/reader but the main character important lesson. In Californication the character of Hank Moody teaches the viewer the important lessons. Hank constantly makes mistakes, hurting the people he surrounds himself with.  Hank’s most important trait is his sincerity. Even though he manages to hurt most of the people in his life and ruin all the good things he has, he isn’t an inherently bad person which is why most people can relate to him. No one is perfect. Hank isn’t rich and isn’t driven by money yet he still manages to find some happiness in his chaotic life. This can be linked to the cliche “Money can’t buy happiness” which in the case of Hank Moody is true.

Hank dates a girl called Carrie for almost year before breaking up with. He doesn’t realize how much this hurt her until a few months later she turns up out of nowhere and gives both Hank and herself a lethal dose of anti depressants. Hank survives but lives with the guilt that he was the reason she killed herself. He blames himself so much that it drives him into a downwards spiral of alcoholism.  “Just tell me you love me. Tell me you love me.” Carrie says this as the dose of anti depressants take off Hank’s mind and he can’t stop the words from echoing through his head.  People find themselves in bad situations or even bad relationships and end up blaming themselves for the bad things that happen. Hank isn’t responsible for Carrie’s death but he blames himself and it tears him apart. People need to see that blaming themselves for the decisions and action of others that are close to us aren’t always our fault. I feel that Hank’s toxic reaction to Carrie’s suicide taught me to not blame myself for other peoples action and to try move on with my life.

“Why are you living beyond your means?, It’s the only way I know how”, This quote is from a conversation between Hank and Charlie after Charlie gets fired from his agency. Charlie has spent his entire life living expensively to fit in with everyone else and impress people. He spends so much of his money that when he losses his job he has no money to pay rent or even by food. This is the intense desire to fit in that everyone experiences at some point in their life. Charlie is surrounded by all of Hollywood’s biggest stars and that drives him to spend his money on meaningless things in the pursuit of “fitting in”. This is the director trying to teach us that we don’t need to fit the ideals presented or created by industries or people that surround.

Although heavily crass and often stupid Californication paints a realistic view on life.  It doesn’t flaunt unrealistic ideas making the viewer feel like they need more new things to feel happy.   Hank shows that literally anyone can find happiness in their life. The characters seem to be real people instead of the usual unrealistic characters that are created purely for entertainment.


Maturation of Liesel

  1. Initially I imagines a “book thief” as someone older and more mature than Liesel with a greater appreciation of the literature, not just the desire to learn to read. The word thief comes with negative connotations that don’t fit with the word book. Thief’s are usually uneducated criminals who are mischievious and untrustworthy, but when the word is paired with “book” it creates a completely different image.
  2. Liesel lost her brother and then her mother “abandoned” her and left her without anyone to trust. This could lead to trust problems between her and her foster parents and between her and her friends.
  3. Her weakness at the beginning of the text is not being able to read which people make fun of her because of. The words become powerful to her because they allow her to overcome her weakness and become stronger than the people that made fun of her. The words also represent the relationship she has with Hans. Hans teaches he to read which created a bigger bond between them.
  4. Liesel vows to never kiss Rudy because she doesn’t want to ruin her friendship with him. He is one of the only kids that respects and likes Liesel from the beginning of the text which makes him hugely important and influential in Liesel’s life.
  5. Max’s experiences in Germany make Liesel’s problems look completely insignificant. Max is Jewish and is considered scum by Nazi Germany making it impossible for him to go anywhere or doing anything.
  6. Liesel keeps stealing books as it gives her something to hold onto during bad times such as when Max is in his coma. If she didn’t have the book stealing she would spend the entire time thinking about Max and she would lose hope. However as long as she kept stealing books for Max to read she felt that she could him alive.

Characterization of Rudy

Hates Hitler
Is in love with Liesel
Idolizes Jesse Owens the black american athlete at a time when being black is considered “bad”.  He idolizes and respects Jesse Owens so much that according to Liesel he purposely lost one of the races so that he wasn’t as good a Owens. This is hugely important because Rudy is the perfect Aryan child, blue eyes, blonde hair, smart, athletic but he disagrees with everything that he represents in Nazi society.  Rudy’s innocence is what makes him dangerous

Rudy changes from a small immature boy into a more sensible and intelligent teenager.  Throughout the text he dreams of kissing Liesel and he dies without fulfilling his wish.  Rudy comes from a large poor family and so is always hungry.

“He was eight months older than Liesel and had
bony legs, sharp teeth, gangly blue eyes,
and hair the color of a lemon.
One of six Steiner children, he was
permanently hungry.”

Stood up for Tommy Muller even when it put himself in harms way during Hitler youth. This lead to being tortured by his Hitler youth leader, Frans Deutscher,

Strong willed
Rudy was included in the text to show that no matter how hard Hitler tried to convince the nation he was right he still wasn’t able to convince children who are usually the easiest to influence.

Rudy brings humour and fun into Liesel’s life when she first arrives in Molching which is a stark contrast to the death that Liesel has recently experienced.

2.9 Reading response No.3

Retired US Marine Wade Watts is diagnosed with 4 different types of cancer. With no hope of survival, he turns to an experimental program that will supposedly cure him.  The program cures his cancer and gives him the ability to heal anything, however it left him hideously deformed. Wade adopts the superhero persona “Deadpool” as a way to hide who he really is. Hellbent on exacting revenge, Wade tracks down the man (Ajax) who left him covered in scar tissue and kills him. Deadpool is a dark, action-comedy movie that explores the ideas of revenge, grief and personality over appearance.

One thing that is relevant to pretty much anyone who has watched the film is the feeling of being judge by someone on how we look. Wade is too scared to talk to his girlfriend, Vanessa, or even let her know that he is alive because of the way he looks. At one point he even follows her home in the rain and stand outside wondering whether he should go in. However people on the street start staring at him and his scars so instead of speaking to Vanessa he puts his hood up and leaves.  “I should have come and found you sooner. But baby, the guy under this mask, he ain’t the same one you remember.” This quote is from the final scene of the movie where Wade finally confronts Vanessa, facing what he feared the entire way through the movie.  After all the time of avoiding Vanessa, scared of what she might think, in the end she doesn’t even care. I feel this scene was trying to show us that people can look past how we look and judge us based on our personality. Wade’s personality is still exactly same as it was at the beginning which is why Vanessa doesn’t care about the scarring.  This is exactly like “Don’t judge a book by its cover”, people need to make judgments about people not by their appearance but the quality of their personality.

Colossus is all about taking the peaceful approach and instead of exacting revenge on someone he feels it is best to move on. To me the Character of Colossus seems to represent Wade’s conscience. Wade is filled with anger and spends the whole movie killing people while trying to find the person that turned him into a monster. “Four or five moments – that’s all it takes to become a hero”, This quote is from a scene at the end of the movie where Colossus is trying to convince Wade not kill Ajax and instead “spare an enemy” to become a hero. Colossus tries again, and again to convince Wade that what he is doing is wrong. Wade never listens. The character of Colossus taught me to view things from multiple angles to see if what I was doing was actually the right thing. Wade is obsessed with revenge and killing whereas Colossus, as Wade’s conscience, tries to show and teach how to deal with problems without violence. Everyone needs to have a voice like Colossus to control them in times where intense emotion takes control and we make bad decisions.

Deadpool, although a graphic action-comedy, is a extremely enjoyable movie for people over the age of 16.  The fact that is classified a superhero movie needs to be overlooked as Deadpool can be enjoyed by pretty much anyone with a sense of humour. To many Deadpool may appear to be a pointless action movie but through clever characters and humour, Director Tim Miller and Actor Ryan Reynolds were able to create quite possibly one of the best comedy movies of the century.

Significance of the Books

The significance of the book the Grave Diggers handbook is that its Liesel’s only connection to her past. It’s the only thing she still has that has anything to do with her mother and brother.  The book links Liesel to her brothers death and his funeral.  Both her mother and brother are dead so Liesel needs something to remember her by. The book also relates to Death. Death and gravediggers go hand in hand, Death creates the bodies; The gravedigger buries them. This book is extremely important because its not only a memory of her mother and brother but its also the start of her obsession with stealing books.  This book is also what teaches her to read, which sparks her passion.

The book the Stand-over man has relevance to almost every character in the text with every character having something that hangs over there head. Max has the threat of Hitler and the Nazi’s hanging over him, Hans Huberman has the guilt of Max’s father death hanging over him,  Rudy has his bully and hunger. Almost every character has something bad hanging over them making things in there everyday life difficult. The Stand-over man could also represent protectors or positive influences in peoples lives.  Hans stands over Liesel as her protector keeping her safe from everything he can, Hans is also a positive influence in her life, fueling her love for books, learning and reading.

The shoulder shrug is the book that Liesel steals from the burning pile.  The title alone represents how the country of Germany just shrugged and ignored the destruction of hundreds of pieces of literature. The German’s just stood and watched as a priceless amount of history was destroyed before there very eyes and all they did was shrug and walk off.  It also represents the start of Liesel’s rebellion, if she had been caught by Nazi’s or anyone for that matter she would have been taken away from Hans and Rosa and probably would never have returned. However, Liesel got away with it and it sparked her desire to rebel even more.

Max uses the book Mein-Kampf as a way of keeping him alive. It hid his illegal documents and he used the pages to create stories for Liesel. This is intense Irony as the book Mein-Kampf was used by Hitler as an excuse to kill millions of Jewish people like Max. Mein-Kampf was Hitler’s main form of propaganda. It gave Hitler power in Germany and was a part of why he became the Supreme Leader of Germany. Max is a person of Jewish faith and the book Mein Kampf gave him power to keep him alive and used it to make a gift for Liesel.

Liesel steals the Dream Carrier from Isla Hermann’s library. She read this book to Max while Max is in his coma state. Liesel acts as Max’s own Dream carrier while he is in the coma state, talking and reading to him and keeping him company. When Max’s wakes up he tells Liesel her heard most of what she said.

A Song in the Dark is another book stolen from Isla Hermanns library. Liesel is a Song in Max’s darkness. Liesel steals this book during Max’s coma stage to read to him in his time of darkness and despair.


Started the book of quiet and scared but as the story progressed Liesel became bold and confident. Liesel pushed her way into the groups of Jews looking for Max, towards the end of the book, whereas at the start of the book she didn’t even have the confidence to talk properly with Rosa.
Her main desire was to find her real mother because Rosa doesn’t show her the love that a real mother should.  had a desire to learn how to read. Filled the alphabet that Hans made with words everyday so that she would no longer be known as dumpkoft. As the book continues Liesel becomes more intelligent and even gains the writing and reading ability to write her own book, the idea given to her by Max.

Hans is kind to Liesel the entire way through the book without fail.
Hans has this sense of responsibility for Max because Max’s father helped him during the war and he depends on his accordion to make money to support their family and without Max’s father he would never have learnt to play. When Max arrives he feels responsible for the boy and his only option is to allow him to hide in there basement even if it risks Hans’s families lives.
at the start wanted both children only because she wanted more money from the government  “What’s wrong with this child?”  Rosa didn’t really care for Liesel she only wanted the money that having Liesel gave her.
by the end of the book actually showed genuine love for Liesel
Her determination and aggressive attitude it what helps keep the family and Max alive. Without her intense stubbornness Max probably would have died when he became hypothermic.

Rudy changes from a small immature boy into a more sensible and intelligent teenager.  Throughout the text he dreams of kissing Liesel and he dies without fulfilling his wish.  He dreams of being Jesse Owens but in his innocence doesn’t realize how bad this is in Germany. Rudy doesn’t understand that being black in WW2 Germany is bad.  Rudy comes from a large poor family and so is always hungry.

The Prologue: Colours

  1. The colours talked about in the book are used to create a more vivid and descriptive image in the readers head.
    The white could represent a peaceful death, such as Liesel’s brother dying on the train, whereas the black could represent a sudden brutal death like the pilot dying in the plane crash.
  2. “it’s the three in which I saw her in the flesh that resonate the
    most…Red, white, black. They fall on top of each other. The scribbled
    signature black, onto the blinding global white, onto the thick soupy red.”
    Consider the Nazi flag during World War Two and its construction.” The Nazi Flag is made up of the three colours Red, White and Black. The flag represents the death and destruction caused by the Nazi’s during the war.  The red on the flag and the red mentioned by death represents fire; The burning of books and the bombs that leveled cities. These colours define Liesel because she saw from an inside perspective what Nazi Germany did during the war. She watched books burn, saw the darkness or black that Max Vandenburg lived in.
  3. “To their left, flames and burning books were cheered like heroes.” p.122, “The Germans loved to burn things”,  Germany burned everything from books to people during the war.  Jewish people were killed and burned and books promoting anything that the Nazi’s opposed were burned also.


“I am all bluster—
I am not violent.
I am not malicious.
I am a result. ”

“Even death has a heart.”

These quotes show that Death itself is inherently evil. The people that cause Death, like Hitler during World War 2 are the ones who a truly evil.

“You are going to die….does this worry you?” This is Markus Zusaks way of portraying that death isnt something to be feared.

2.9 Reading response No.2

Ready Player One Written by Ernest Cline is about a dystopian future where everyone relies heavily on the virtual reality world known as the Oasis. When the creator, Halliday, dies he leaves behind his legacy and control over the Oasis as a prize to anyone who can find the 3 keys to unlock the Easter Egg he left behind. The world becomes obsessed with the search for these keys with corporations such as Innovative Online Industries ( IOI ), fueling millions of dollars into their discovery.  IOI will stop at nothing to attain total and complete control over the Oasis.  Wade Watts, a poor teenager is thrown into the chaos when he unexpectedly discovers the first key.

Ready Player One puts into perspective the greed that all humans have. Everyone who has access to the Oasis searches for the keys left behind by Halliday. IOI has hundreds of thousands of people working for them night and day to discover the keys, known as Sixers. IOI represents greed and imitates the big corporations such as Apple and Samsung that try and control our actual lives.  “Now they were trying to seize control”,  IOI seeks to control the Oasis so they can basically “rule the world”.  I feel like this books explores the ideas of how people desire power, control and money way too much.  Companies and corporations spend years finding different ways to take our money and control us. Everyone goes to extreme lengths to be better than everyone else and have the most money.

“I earned enough to keep from going hungry”, Wade Watts didn’t have any money and wasn’t controlled by greed which is why he was best suited to find Halliday’s Easter Egg. There was no risk of him being controlled by power and greed because he didn’t want the money or the power and yet he was happy. “We’re going to use all of the moolah we just won to feed everyone on the planet”, This quote proves that even after winning an unimaginable amount of money Wade would rather give it away than spend it on himself. Ernest Cline through the characters of Wade Watts and the Sixers has shown me to look at things in my own life and see whether I really need them to be happy or is it just greed that tells me I need to have them.  I feel that money and greed dictates too much of what we do in our lives. We as humans believe that money will bring us happiness, when it will only bring us more greed. A real world example is stock market investment, in which people gamble there money on the chance of making more. People take the chance that they might make millions of the few thousand that the originally invested. The money the had originally is more than enough to make them happy but greed drives them to want more.

If your a fan of video games you will thoroughly enjoy the content in this book, however I would still recommend this book to anyone, any age. Ready Player One is fast paced keeping you captivated from the first page. I believe that the ideas presented by Ernest Cline in the text are relevant to all ages, because everyone, at any age can allow greed and the desire to be better than everyone else drive them.