The Book Thief Quotes

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“Words - so innocent and powerless as they are, as standing in a dictionary, how potent for good and evil they become in the hands of one who knows how to combine them.”(“Words Quotes - BrainyQuote”). In the novel The Book Thief by Markus Zusak, words are expressed to change the minds of Hitler’s followers to believe his every word. Words are also used against German citizens if they do not conform to the societal expectations. On the other hand, Liesel has a lust for words and she wishes to use them to positively impact others. Unlike Liesel, Hitler is focused on using his words to corrupt. There are many instances in the novel that words are used to mend and also harm. For example, Liesel reads to her neighbours during the air raids to…show more content…
The novel The Book Thief shows this in many ways. One example of it is, while everyone was crowded in the basement for shelter, Liesel read. “For at least twenty minutes, she handed out the story. The youngest kids were soothed by her voice, and everyone else saw visions of the whistler running from the crime scene. Liesel did not. The book thief saw only the mechanics of the words—their bodies stranded on the paper, beaten down for her to walk on. Somewhere, too, in the gaps between a period and the next capital letter, there was also Max.” (Zusak 381) Liesel used the power she has with words to soothe everyone in the bombshelter. Her words distracted them enough so they were not contemplating the fact that they might die. Another example of this is when Liesel read to Frau Holtzapfel after she received the news that her son had died. “The brother shivers. The woman weeps. And the girl goes on reading, for that’s why she’s there, and it feels good to be good for something in the aftermath of the snows of Stalingrad.” (Zusak 471) After Michael Holtzapfel told his mother that his brother died, Liesel kept reading. She did this to comfort Michael and his mother and not leave them alone to their misery. This shows that Liesel uses her words for good and not only to benefit…show more content…
In the novel The Book Thief by Markus Zusak, there are many instances where relationships are built. An example of this is in Max’s story “The Word Shaker.” where he symbolized his and Liesel’s friendship. “They became good friends, and when the man was sick, the word shaker allowed a single teardrop to fall on his face. The tear was made of friendship—a single word—and it dried and became a seed, and when next the girl was in the forest, she planted that seed among the other trees. She watered it every day.” (Zusak 446) This symbolizes when Max was in a coma she read to him everyday. She left him gifts so that when he woke up they would have something to talk about. These things strengthened their friendship. So when Liesel read his story after he left it still made their relationship grow stronger and stronger. “And she walked over and hugged him for the first time. ‘Thanks, Max.’ At first, here merely stood there, but as she held onto him, gradually his hands rose up and gently pressed into her shoulder blades.”(Zusak 222) When after Liesel embraced him and said thank you, Max decided that he should give her a gift. She inspired him to use words and write “The Standover Man” which brought them closer. Max explained the story of his life to her in the book, and it was all because of the words she used. Throughout the novel The Book Thief there are instances where people used words to create new

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