The Book Thief Analysis
The book I chose to read over the summer was “The Book Thief” by Markus Zusak. I chose this book after reading “Resistance Lit: Meg Waite Clayton on Markus Zusak’s The Book Thief”, an article on LitHub. I had originally watched the movie when it was released in 2013, so when I came across this article on Lithub I thought to myself, what a better time than now to actually read the book and broaden my understanding on the story “The Book Thief.” I thought this story was interesting because I got a different perspective than most books, I got the perspective of Death. As I finished up the book there was one line that really struck me, “I am haunted by humans.”
“I am haunted by humans”, five words from Death himself that wrapped up the story completely. I thought the placement of this line, as the last line of the story was placed perfectly. Throughout the entire story death is mentioned on every page, whether it’s the actual death of someone or just the word death itself. Since this story takes place during the holocaust we know that there were many lives taken, taken by Death. Death during this times sees the best and worst of people. He sees the inhumane things that people can do to each other,he sees the random acts of kindness and love, but the thing that haunts him the most is the heartache that people endure after the loss of a loved one. At the beginning of the book, Death expresses that it’s easier to be dead than to be alive and deal with the loss of a loved one.This lines supports the concept that Death in a way almost feels guilty for his actions and the actions of humans. I genuinely don’t feel as though death liked taking the lives of people, it was just more apart of the “job”.
This quote resonates with me in two very different ways. My first initial reaction was realization. It made me think of all my decisions, both positive and negative, but there was a bit more of a spotlight on my negative ones. Was I being haunted by my own decisions? I think in a way we are all haunted by our own decisions. We live in a very black and white world, but decisions are neither black or white, they are grey. There is no way to say that one decision is better than the other because that opinion lies in the eye of the beholder. On a lighter note, my second reaction to this quote is a bit more humorous than the first. I watch a lot of Ghost Adventure, and when I say a lot, I mean A LOT. Us humans always fear ghost and death and feel as though they are both out to get us, that they are haunting us, but we have never put ourselves in Death’s shoes. What if Death feels as though we are out to get them , that we are haunting them.
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