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The Power Of Words In The Book Thief

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The Power Of Words In The Book Thief
Red. Book. Family. Coward. Jew. Death. One may say that they are just words, but is that really all they are? Throughout The Book Thief by Markus Zusak, words bring joy and comfort as well as rage and heartbreak. Liesel Meminger is devastated by the loss of her brother and feels that nothing will relieve her of her agony, until she picks up a book that was left in the graveyard by a gravedigger. This is just the beginning of words playing a major part in Liesel’s life. Words have more power than one could ever imagine.
There are many examples of words having power throughout The Book Thief. One example that glorifies this theme is on page 64. On page 64, Liesel is having horrible dreams and wakes up feeling panicked and afraid. Papa comes to her rescue and starts to read The Gravedigger’s Handbook. As Papa reads to Liesel, she feels comforted and safe. They sit and read for hours, skipping the words that they do not know. The power of words brings a sense of relaxation and serenity to Liesel and words begin to form a deep bond between Liesel and Hans. Another example of the power of words is on page 105. Hans Jr. and Hans get into a major argument. Hans Jr. calls his father a coward which results in Hans Jr. storming out,
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She is beginning to grasp the concept of reading and is seeing the effect words can have on people. She sees that words can be weapons. During the 1940’s, Hitler was in power. Hitler used words instead of guns and money to take over. He manipulated and tricked people into believing what he was doing was right. This shows that words can give someone the ability to rule and take charge if used in the right way. On page 262, Liesel is very rude to Frau Hermann. Liesel gets very angry that Isla cancelled her washing and uses words to insult Ilsa Hermann and damage the relationship they had. Later on Liesel apologises to Ilsa, but before she does, she feels terrible about the nasty things she

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