Well, your writing did anyway! What beautiful language which captured me from the beginning and refused to let me go, “First the colors. / Then the humans. / That’s usually how I see things. / Or at least how I try” (3). 

 

Or “If you can imagine it, think clumsy silence. Think bits and pieces of floating despair. And drowning in a train” (21).

 

Or “THE CONTENTS OF LIESEL MEMINGER’S IMAGINATION. IN the shell-shocked kitchen, somewhere near the stove, there’s an image of a lonely, overworked typewriter. IT sits in a distant, near-empty room Its keys are faded and a blank sheet waits patiently upright in the assumed position. It wavers slightly in the breeze from the window. Coffee break is nearly over. A pile of paper the height of a human stands casually by the door. It could easily be smoking” (418).

 

And especially, a visual image of death, right from the start, “The second eye jumped awake and she caught me out, no doubt about it. It was exactly when I knelt down and extracted his soul, holding it limply in my swollen arms, He warmed up soon after, but when I picked him up originally, the boy’s spirit was soft and cold, like ice cream. He started melting in my arms. Then warming up completely healing” (21).

 

From the long pieces of poetic language, to the more detailed and intricate moments, “…unflappable, unwavering… unnerved, untied, and undone” (309) where Zusak chooses to incorporate alliteration, and so on throughout, The Book Thief is a highly constructed literary masterpiece.

 

Not only has Zusak captured the heart of language, he has also captured a bit of the good and bad in human essence. His narrator, Death, is well aware of the good and bad and chooses to record all of his experiences, especially following a knowing little girl through Nazi Germany. Liesel experiences life at a constant transcendence above others, always seeing and knowing and being able to express what she is seeing and knowing in lovely words and stories. These stories, through her stolen books or her own infallible words, follow her through her childhood and even through the death of her whole neighborhood—both figuratively and literally words saved her!

 

And, it would seem, that Zusak is attempting to create a message to his readers: While humans may be evil, there are certain word shakers who have the ability to dispel at least a moment in time of this awfulness so that the rest of us may go on living to the best of our ability. And that, the living, the freedom—that is what is most important in the end.

 

Liesel had the freedom to write and craft her story, as did Markus Zusak—I would encourage you to learn this valuable lesson and have the courage to write your own story!

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