Die Heuning Pot Literature Guide
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Analysis

Literary Devices in The Book Thief

Symbolism, Imagery, Allegory

The accordion starts off as a symbol of hope and comfort. When Liesel begins reading to the residents of Himmel Street during the air raids, she feels like she's giving them what Hans gives her whe...

Setting

Most of The Book Thief takes place in the small, and fictional, town of Molching, just outside of non-fictional Munich, Germany. Molching is on the way to the concentration camp Dachau (which the n...

Narrator Point of View

The Book Thief is narrated by an extremely overworked being who identifies himself as Death. Some readers love Death as a narrator; others not so much. We tend to think it's an interesting choice....

Genre

The Book Thief tells the story of Liesel Meminger, a young German girl coming of age in Nazi Germany. The novel focuses on the joys and sorrows of Liesel, her foster family, and the Jewish man they...

Tone

The novel focuses on characters in very dark and difficult situations. Just like how Death, the story's narrator, is hoping to "to prove to [himself] that you, and your human existence, are worth i...

Writing Style

The Book Thief features innovative stylistic techniques. The most obvious innovation (which some readers love and others can't stand) is narrator Death's use of boldface text to relay certain infor...

What's Up With the Title?

The title most obviously refers to Liesel Meminger, the chief book thief of the story. She's officially given the title by her best friend Rudy Steiner at the end of Chapter 42. In this chapter, Li...

What's Up With the Ending?

From the beginning of The Book Thief, Death, the narrator, foreshadows the bombing of Himmel Street. This terrible event kills all of Liesel's friends and loved ones. Well, not quite all. One impor...

Plot Analysis

Liesel's loses one family, and gains another.For reasons unknown to us at the time, Liesel's mother is taking Liesel and her little brother Werner by train to live with foster parents, Hans and Ros...

Trivia

We love this fact about The Book Thief's author, Markus Zusak. We'll let him tell you: "I did something a little sentimental, or superstitious...I carved Rudy and Liesel's names into a tree with a...

Allusions

Mein Kampf (21.41, 21.44, 26.2, 26.3, 26.11, 26.34, 26.36, 28.16, 30.8, 35.164, 36.3, Adolf Hitler, also referred to as the Führer (throughout)Jessie Owens (8.3, 8.21, 9.1, 9.3, 9.12, 9.16, 9....
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