Change in Perspectives: the Book Thief & Changes

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Year 11 Assessment: Changing Perspectives RELATED TEXTS ASSESSMENT – ADVANCED ENGLISH

1) Prescribed Text – The Book Thief a. Compose a summary/synopsis of the text (plot/themes/characters/key concerns). (100 words only)

‘The Book Thief’ by Mark Zusak The Book Thief is a story of a young german girl named Liesel Meminger in Nazi Germany during world war 2. At age nine her brother drops dead in front of her and when Death himself comes to collect his newest soul, he becomes fascinated with Liesel. From then on death narrates the story of a girl who moves into a foster home where she develops relationships between her new Papa and Mama, her best friend Rudy, her secret friend Max, but most importantly we witness her relationship with books and words that take her on a journey though life. Using your prescribed text, examine what the composer of this text reveals about Changing Perspectives and how they convey these ideas (750 words). It is expected that you will identify and analyse at least 2 techniques /forms /features. Use the PETAL structure to help you remain analytical. Mark Zusak reveals the concept of Changing Perspectives in his book ‘The Book Thief’ through how he has personified Death as the narrator. He does this in such a way that causes the reader to reconsider their thoughts on ‘what’ death is, and to then ask themselves about ‘who’ death is. The idea of who death is, is challenged when Zusak writes, “Yes, I know it. In the darkness of my dark-beating heart, I know. He’d have loved it all right. You see? Even death has a heart.” (p262) Truncated sentences are used here to help quickly convey to the audience the new aspect of who death as a personified character is. Emotive language used by death in this quote allows the audience to see a compassionate side of death that is not normally explored in other texts. Death also states in this quote about how he has a heart which also makes the audience reconsider and change their perspectives of death as they now view death as a being that feels things and has a mind like a human. “Im always finding humans at their best and worst. Still, they have one thing I envy. Humans, If nothing else, have the good sense to die. (p522) Lexical choice is used by Zusak to show the feelings of Death as the narrator. By death saying he envy’s humans ‘good sense to die’ it makes that audience think about death as a character and how death is jealous of humans. This is a concept not seen by most people so the fact that it is brought up in this quote makes the reader challenge what they think of death and consider whether death is a figure to be feared of, or a figure to be empathetic to. In ‘The Book Thief’ by Mark Zusak, the concept of Changing Perspectives is revealed through how he makes the audience reconsider the character of Death as a personified being that is compassionate towards and also is jealous of humans.

Changing Perspectives is revealed in ‘The Book Thief’ through how Zusak accepts the idea that change is inevitable and impacts the course of ones life and then how he portrays this idea through the paths in which he sets his characters on. Zusak shows an example of this in the chapter ‘A Short History of the Jewish Fist-Fighter’ (p202-212) Analepsis is used throughout this chapter as it tells a story of the live of Max before he was being hunted for being of Jewish blood. By reading this chapter the audience begin to understand who Max was before the war, so that by the end of the book you can have a full understanding of the changes that Max went through as a person, and how the change that was brought upon him, significantly changed the course of his life. By using analepsis here to show the transition Max went through due to Hitlers rein, the reader sees the past and present of Max’s life which causes them to change their perspectives of who Max is. Zusak reinforces the idea of that change is inevitable and will change the course of ones life, where he writes,...
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