Death in “The Book Thief” Novel by Markus Zusak
The narrator of Liesel’s story in The Book Thief is The Death, who describes the events happening in the human world from his perspective. He shows a variety of characteristics in different situations, including being sympathetic, cold-hearted, and haunted. When describing the death of little Werner, Liesel’s brother, The Death pays much attention to the suffering that boy’s relatives experience after he died during the cold train journey.
His sister has nightmares and tries to forget the pain of loss, while the mother would like to keep the memories as a contribution to her love for the lost child. As The Death points, Werner does not need to suffer any longer; it is the living people’s burden. When Max, a Jew Liesel’s parents hid in their house, tells about the loss of his family, the narrator shows his cold-blooded side. He states that guilt and shame are the price to pay for human life as if it was a product to buy at the store. The dialogue participants are also mentioned as “The girl” and “The Jew” instead of using names to emphasize how indifferent The Death felt regarding people and their emotions at that moment.
He will perform the duties and guide those who died to the afterlife; such is the order. Finally, The Death tells Liesel close to the book’s end that he is haunted by human nature. It is puzzling for him how people can create something as beautiful as love and as ugly as the war. things humans had done. The cruelty of Nazis exists next to the kindness of ordinary Germans, like Haus Huberman and his family. People are mysterious and unpredictable to The Death, and he feels intimidated by their motives and capabilities.