Study Guide

The Book Thief Chapter 45

By Markus Zusak

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Chapter 45

Death's Diary: 1942

  • Death is extremely overworked in 1942. Death is busy like in "79, like 1346" (45.1).
  • (79 is a very long time ago. One reason Death might have been working overtime is the eruption of Mount Vesuvius. In 1346 Death would have been busy with victims of the bubonic plague.)
  • In any case, Death wants a break.
  • By the way, Death doesn't look like you think it does, with bony fingers and a scythe.
  • But, Death does wear robe/hoodie, in black of course, if the weather is chilly.
  • Death says that if we look in the mirror we will see what Death looks like.
  • (Thanks, Death.)
  • Death is focusing on three main issues to illustrate how busy it is in 1942, though there are many, many more.
  • The issues are, "the desperate Jews," "The Russian soldiers," and "The soaked bodies of a French coast" (45.5).
  • Death hasn't even had to time to recover from Joseph Stalin's "murder of his own people" (45.15).
  • And now Hitler.
  • Death wants to show us something beautiful, though.
  • It starts with Liesel, carrying snow down to Max in the basement.

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