Study Guide

The Book Thief Chapter 2

By Markus Zusak

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Chapter 2

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.

The Book Thief Chapter 2 Study Group

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