The Theme Of Death In The Book Thief

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The idea of Death has been around for many years. He harvest the lives of others as a living. Some may say that he looks like a skeleton in a black cloak, usually holding a dagger or a sickle. This is often seen in today’s society; with kids being dressed as Death during halloween to search engines showing up the stereotypical image of Death. This is also found in media such as in novel series like ‘Discworld’ and movies like ‘Scream’ (the 1996 version). It is also found in the classic ‘A Christmas Carol’ by Charles Dickens. However, the representation of Death in ‘The Book Thief’ and ‘Meet Joe Black’ differ from this stereotype. ‘The Book Thief’ is a novel that presents Death as a narrator, telling a story about a young German girl in…show more content…
In the film, Joe is a main character who is curious about the human world. During the whole film, Joe is often caught abusing his powers. At first, he killed off an average man in a coffee shop, so he could take his body and explore the human world. Because he killed someone before their time is up, he is misusing his powers for himself (Brest). Adding on, Death in this context tends to remind Bill Parish that he could kill him at any time. This is apparent in the scene where Bill caught Joe and Susan kissed, causing Bill to be extremely angry that Death. This trigger Bill to snap at him for breaking the laws of the universe (Brest). That caused to Death replied with “I don't like your tone, and I don't like your references. [...] May I remind you this is not just a dispute with a putative suitor, this is me. So watch it… Bill.” (Goldman). This shows that Joe is threatening Bill by reminding him of his powers as Death. Another way Joe is seen misusing his powers is by attempting to take Susan with him. However, he is stopped by Bill when he questions if Susan knew who he was. Bill had to remind Joe of the deal they had, which was to take him not his daughter. Later in the film, Susan sees that Joe wasn’t the same person she saw at the coffee shop (Brest). These scenes indicate that Joe was misusing his powers by trying to break his deal with Bill and…show more content…
Joe Black, also known as Death from ‘Meet Joe Black’, is generally perceived as an all-knowing character that contrasts from a lot of the brighter characters in the movie, such as Bill Parish. He tends to be curious, dark and he likes to expose others. The viewers could tell that Joe was very curious about the human world from when he asked Bill Parish to be his tour guide. To begin with, Joe stayed in Bill’s home as well as attend his board meetings because he is curious as to Bill’s ways of living (Brest). In addition, Joe is perceived as a dark and ominous character. A bit before Joe appeared, he was hiding behind a glass window and he looked very skull-like. When he appeared, the setting was very dark and eerie (Brest). By using pathetic fallacy in the film, the viewers can gather that Joe is indeed an ominous character. Furthermore, Joe likes revealing other people’s secrets and does not understand what privacy is. By neglecting Drew’s feelings, Joe exposes to Bill that Drew cheated on his exam to get his diploma (Brest). This shows that Joe is unsympathetic. Moreover, Joe is very selfish since he misused his powers and took an innocent life just so he could explore the human world. This shows that he is inconsiderate and selfish and does not care for others. For the reasons stated, Joe is an inquisitive, grim and untrustworthy

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