The Book Thief - How the Character of Max Is Created

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Explore how character is created by the author in the extract provided In this historical fiction novel “the book thief” by Markus Zusak, the character Max Vandenburg is created using characterisation. In this essay I will examine the characters actions, his descriptions and his speech in order to analyse the type of man he is. The extract is important because it’s introducing a whole new character to the novel. In this extract Zusak creates anonymity and therefore a sense of mystery surrounding the character. In the first line he is referred to as “the struggler”. We don’t know who he is, only that he is names Max. Zusak doesn’t refer to his name though, he refers to him as “he”. He is an appealing character and we want to know more about him as he sounds like he has an interesting story. He is appealing to us when we are told that he is so close, “close enough to touch it”. We want to know where the characters going and why. It also sparks a sense of concern in us as Zusak tells us “his legs ached terribly.....the most dangerous place to be”. We want Max to survive his journey to safety. Zusak makes the character feel vulnerable as he describes Max going down the street. Zusak uses personification to describe the towering buildings down the road, that make Max feel this way. “The town hall stood like a giant, ham-fisted youth...” Zusak then goes onto say “It all watched him” We can tell now that Max feels as if the buildings are even spying on him. He definitely feels vulnerable as he travels on, scared and tired. Further on in the extract, we are shown that Max is superstitious. He relies on “...the number 13for luck...” as he continues. It seems strange that the number 13 has been chosen, as usually it is an unlucky number. The character almost relies on luck to see him through, which maybe shows us that he doesn’t rely on himself to get there. Our character asks us quite a few rhetorical questions towards arriving at his safe-house. The questions show us...
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