The Book Thief
The Book Thief Chapter 2 Summary
Beside the Railway Line
- Death is having a flashback.
- It sees the color white all around, as if the world is covered in snow.
- Death says that it isn't a mean or angry force. Death isn't a cause; it's a "result" (2.3).
- A person has died.
- Death sees "two guards" (2.7), a woman, her daughter, and a "corpse" (2.10).
- The two guards are arguing. One wants to leave the mother, the daughter, and the body there in the snow by the railroad tracks.
- The other wants to continue on with them to the next stop. He wins.
- Death is fascinated by the scene and sticks around to watch.
- About half an hour later, Death leaves the train, carrying the dead boy's soul.
- Then Death sees a hungry, shivering girl.
- That little girl is "the book thief" (2.25), and the tears she's been crying have turned to ice.