November 21, 2012
Does death cause change in people and its surroundings? A French poet once said, “All changes, even the most longed for, have their melancholy; for what we leave behind us is a part of ourselves; we must die to one life before we can enter another (Anatole France).” What does this mean though? I believe it means that change is a result of death, physically or mentally. In The Book Thief death causes changes in the characters and the setting. Liesel Meminger, the main character was a young girl who had already changed so much because of death. Her brother died in her arms, her best friend Rudy died, and her foster mother and father whom she had grown to love very much, died in the same house, just a room away. And these things all happened on Himmel Street, which means Heaven believe it or not. “I guess by now I should know enough about loss to realize that you never really stop missing someone-you just learn to live around the huge gaping hole of their absence.”(Alyson Noel) Liesel isn’t the only character who has to deal with death. During the beginning of The Book Thief, Frau Holtzapfel is Rosa Hubermans next door neighbor and worst enemy. Every time Frau passes the Hubermans house, she spits on their door and swears at them. This all changes when Frau hears Liesel read The Whistler while waiting in the bomb shelter. Frau loses both of her sons. Her sons Michael and Robert were both sent to Stalingrad. Robert her younger son dies in Stalingrad after losing both of his legs in an explosion. Frau’s other son, Michael, takes his own life because he felt guilty for living. He felt guilty that he didn’t die instead of his brother, death made him feel guilty, death changed his thoughts about living, and death is what became of him. Max, a Jewish fist fighter who lived in the Hubermans basement, became a brother to Liesel. Max was on brink of death for a while. He would sleep for days without waking up. Rosa Huberman is...
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