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The Book Thief

The Book Thief

by Markus Zusak

Language and Communication Quotes

How we cite our quotes:

Quote #1

In the beginning, it was the profanity that made an immediate impact. It was so vehement and prolific. Every other word was either Saumensch or Saukerl or Arschloch (6.14)

Death explains to us that sau means a pig. Saumensch is an insult for women, Saukerl is an insult for men. Arschloch is "asshole" (6.14). These terms become terms of endearment between the characters as the novel progresses.

Quote #2

"Saumensch. You call me Mama when you talk to me. (6.32)

At this early stage, though, being called a pig-girl isn't exactly endearing. Liesel soon learns that calling Rosa "Mama" is one big way to stay on her good side.

Quote #3

Not leaving: an act of trust and love, often deciphered by children. (7.8)

Death tells us that this is a definition that isn't found in the dictionaries. As we see when we get into the Duden Dictionary sections of the novel, it's sometimes hard to find the right words to express what we see and feel.

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