Analyse how the experiences of one or more characters were used for a particular purpose
“A beautiful, tear-stomping girl, shaking the dead” (Gothic type fiction– Gothic fiction, which is largely known by the subgenre of Gothic horror, is a genre or mode of literature and film that combines fiction and horror, death, and at times romance.)
Death personified (as a human): “First the colors, then humans, that’s how I see them or at least how I try.”p.3 “I most definitely can be cheerful. I can be affable, agreeable. Amiable. Just don’t ask me to be nice. Nice has nothing to do with me.” p.3 “I wanted to crouch to down, I wanted to say I’m sorry child but that is not allowed.” “That’s the sort of thing I’ll never know or comprehend – what humans are capable of.” p.25 “He does something to me, that boy. every time. it’s not only detriment. he steps on my heart. he makes me cry”
Taking people’s lives is a job and burden: “considering the length of time I’ve been performing this job, the trouble is, who could replace me?” p.5 I resigned myself to stay as long as my schedule allowed and I watched.” p.9 “A packet of souls.” p.13 “For two days I went about my business….handing souls to the conveyor belt of eternity.” p.23 Job is intensified by war: “That was the first time Hans Habermann escaped me, the Great War…not many men are lucky enough to cheat me twice.” I attended the greatest disasters and work for the greatest villains….. I allow them to distract me as I work, just as the colors do… I make sure to remember them as I go about my work” p583
Sees people’s deaths in colors: “I will be standing over you, as genially as possible. Your color will be perched on my shoulder. I will carry you gently away.” What color will everything be at that moment when I come for you? What will the sky be saying.” p.4 “I deliberately seek out colors to keep my mind off them…the leftover humans. The survivors. They have beaten hearts. They have punctured lungs.” p.5 “It felt as though the whole globe was dressed in snow.” p.6 “It was a beautiful thing in some ways.” p.10 “The last time I saw her was red. The sky was like soup. Boiling and stirring.” p.13
Haunted by humans: “I became interested in the girl. Curiosity got the better of me.” p.8 I have kept her story to retell. It is one to prove to me that you and your human existence are worth it.” “who was there to soothe him as life’s rug was snatched from under his sleeping feet” “The world is a factory, the sun stirs it, the humans rule it and I remain. I carry them away” “I wanted to tell the book thief many times about beauty and brutality” p584
Death is portrayed as a soul reaper? and the job of death is to collect the souls of the dead, but you would think he enjoys taking the lives of innocent people because of the evil behind deaths name. But in the text death does not believe the people he takes away deserve to die the second guesses the way the world has caused their deaths.
I believe this when he says “Did they deserve any better, these people? How many had actively persecuted others, high on the scent of Hitler’s gaze, repeating his sentences, his paragraphs, his opus? Was Rosa Hubermann responsible? The hider of a Jew? Or Hans? Did they all deserve to die? The children?”
Death, he questions himself about Hitler’s ways on German men (Nazis) killing innocent Jews “actively prosecuted others” not having a choice but to kill or be killed if you didn’t obey Hitler. “high on the scent of Hitler’s gaze” you where killed by the power of a man and his army it was wrong the killing of innocents anyone would question why? and if it was fair? why wouldn’t death question this too as he feels emotions to?
he also questions “did they deserve to die? the children?” he uses a rhetorical question against himself he contradicts what’s happened as if he is resilient to taking away the lives of innocent children caught up in a war of empowerment over the less important. but it’s his job he does not have a choice if the soul is ready he must take it for it is his job the term “job” I think would confuse most people you would think of your average person as taking people souls does not sound like a job in the real world.
we should not blame death, he is normally portrayed as a negative “thing” at the end of the book thief book the final quote from the narrator was “I am haunted by humans” I believe this is the strongest message from the writer my perception on death has changed after hearing this i now believe death didn’t like his job it was hard for him to take the souls of the innocent, his way of coping was through the colours he saw as he took the souls “I deliberately seek out colors to keep my mind off them…the leftover humans. The survivors. They have beaten hearts. They have punctured lungs.” it is a distraction to make the sadness of a person death, a color to put upon deaths broken heart and shade him from the sadness of the innocent death of the weak and scared people who were killed by Hitler’s wrath.
“the haunting” the reason I say this is because “The world is a factory, the sun stirs it, the humans rule it and I remain. I carry them away” this tells me an emotion he knew a lot of people should not have died the humans rule what happens and death is just there to clean up the mess of broken souls the wrong he experienced no wonder death found it hard to cope? watching people lives crumble before his eyes “who was there to soothe him as life’s rug was snatched from under his sleeping feet” personally before reading this I didn’t think a death reaper would care about who he took away and I didn’t think it would affect him in any negative way.
This is why I believe death is intentionally made into some sort of human character the fact that death is given the role of the narrator to speak the story of this girl he followed around and felt emotion for not just her but the innocent who died around her shows me human emotion his empathy is unexpected, completely astounding the fact a character who originally would have been a grim dark colour of a person or thing, the use of him seeing colour and seeing that in the phase of dying is more of a bright person who finds the beauty in “handing souls to the conveyor belt of eternity” death who is typically portrayed in a dark,horrible and evil demon like perception the.
I think death is used for a purpose I think by him using the most unexpected character death a dark mean evil demonic type entity or person, by using this it makes us think because Hitler being the evil mastermind behind the death of thousands you expect death to be happy eating up souls, thriving for more? we expect death may be to side with Hitler because of all the souls being given to death, I personally thought he would enjoy it but the way the writer made this death into an emotional empathetic man with a job type character. As the narrator death view or version of what he can see really stand out the fact of one girl’s life in a war, she did not understand, with “beauty and brutality” as death says it. He is used to making us think if this is deaths feelings towards it how does that make a reader feel and think about the story?
I believe the last quote concludes the entire meaning of the story. Humans are capable of so much bad, evil, wrong and brutal things, some things we do to one another are brutally terrifying to a person…. but there are the people who do good in the world like Rosa, Hans, Rudy Max all positive impacts on the story and Liesel’s life. They take great risks where they have a lot to lose and nothing to gain at all. constantly in the book more than good compared to the bad is shown. It explores the imperfections in the “good” and gives sympathy towards the “evil”. Death is haunted by humans like he said in the final quote in the book, by good and the bad the ways the two overlap and merge together as one. Humanity is complicated and may be hard to understand for death. It is not completely understood the reaper of death, not even by the humans themselves clearly shown throughout the book, but they still keep going through thick an thin, developing to learn to stay strong for not just themselves but for each other. The complexity of the human race completely astounds and confuses the “reaper of death”. it is shown by what he’s seen humans do and are capable of causes death to contradict him making him feel like he is “haunted by humans” he feels as if he is “work for the greatest villains”.