The Book Thief, written by Markus Zusak, goes deeper than a girl’s story of struggle. In it there are intricate complexities, important themes, and significant symbols that add a different side to the story and go beyond traditional storytelling. Some symbols in The Book Thief include dominoes, Liesel’s stolen books, and Liesel walking into a parade of Jews. Throughout Liesel’s story, repeated themes also emerge. Two of the main themes in The Book Thief are Death and the Power of words.
These themes and symbols intertwine into the story in a way that makes the novel more interesting and meaningful. The reader can follow along Liesel ‘s tragic tale while also stumbling into the powerful themes, motifs, and symbols.To those who have not read The Book Thief, the cover has no meaning. However, for those who have read the novel, the dominoes become a powerful symbol of how seemingly small decisions can have devastating effects. Much like dominoes fall one after another, one event can set off a chain of other events, which can lead to disaster. The dominoes on the cover quite literally represent this “domino effect.Order now
” One poignant example of the domino effect first began when Rudy tried to prove himself to his peers, especially Franz Deutscher. Rudy proved himself all right, but he also proved himself to people he didn’t care for — Nazi recruiters. When the Nazi’s came knocking on Rudy’s door to recruit him, his parents refused to send him to their special school. This decision, and Rudy’s decision to not intervene, subsequently allowed Rudy to die on Himmel Street and Alex Steiner to be sent to war. Alex Steiner later says, “Crucified Christ. If only I’d let Rudy go to that school (547).
” In this situation there was a web of things t. ., the death of Robert Holtzapfel proved to be too much for his brother Michael, and he committed suicide. This death then causes the death of their mother, Frau Holtzapfel, when her sadness over the loss of her only children consumes her. “He placed his hand on hers, as she fell back to the hard ground. He allowed her screams to fill the street (503).
” Towards the end of the novel the readers get a glimpse of how Death feels about this kind of pain and suffering, which millions of others also experienced during the time period of The Book Thief. Death, who would normally be believed to be insensitive and inhumane conversely becomes weary of his duty and is horrified by war.The Book Thief’s Motifs and symbols almost tell a second story. In addition to the telling of Liesel’s struggles, there is a second layer of deeper meanings which make The Book Thief even better.