Book Theif by Markus Zusak

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Most good novels allow the reader to walk a mile in someone else’s shoes. Through language, characterisation and relationships the author is able to illustrate significant social issues. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak is a tremendously powerful book which captures key significant social issues of the power of words in Nazi Germany; Hitler’s manipulation of words and how people can find comfort in literature, as well as a means of escape. In the ‘Book Thief’, Zusak constantly emphasises the remarkable power and impact words have in relation to the corrupt world of World War Two. Through the use of descriptive language he is able to broaden the readers understanding of Hitler’s abuse of power by manipulating words and propaganda on the German people. Emotions of empathy are evoked when Liesel realizes that Hitler is the reason for her misery; adding to the loss of her childhood innocence. She comes to realize that Hitler is responsible for the war, her brother’s death, mothers suffering and why Max is sent to a concentration camp. “The words were thrown at the steps and Liesel could feel the slush of anger, stirring hotly in her stomach. ‘ I hate the fuhrer,’ she said. ‘I hate him.” Zusak uses a metaphor, linked with imagery, dialogue and short sentences while at the same time reflecting emotive language to make me realise the importance of the power of words. Words are a powerful persuasive weapon of Hitler’s, and both Liesel, and I come to realise that, ‘without words the Fuhrer was nothing.’ In this way Zusak has used Hitler’s manipulation of words to not only highlight the power of words in the ‘Book Thief’, but in our real world. Throughout Liesel’s journey Zusak clearly illustrates her growing understanding of Hitler’s...
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