- Analyse how language features were used to create a vivid setting.
Color: Red, Black, White
relate to the Nazi swastika
Other colors in book e.g. Brown (chocolate sky), Blue sky (pg 543)
paragraph 1: White
paragraph 2: Red
Paragraph 3: Black
Paragraph 4: Conclusion
White: White is a pale color, it can be described as the absence of color. Throughout the text white represents the purity and innocence of both liesel and her brother. White also represents the new start that Liesel experiences once her brother dies and Mother leaves, almost like a blank canvas, liesel’s life can begin anew.
“ some of you are most likely thinking that white is not really a color…..well I’m here to tell you that it is.” (page 7) this quote from death is interesting as it shows us that Death understands colors in a different way than humans do. The colors are more important to him because they represent human feelings and experiences rather than a sight. Pathetic Fallacy is also used where the weather and environment, reflect the mood of the funeral scene: “whole globe was dressed in snow”, “trees wore blankets of ice”, “blinding white-snow sky”, “the world was sagging now under the weight of all that snow”, “As you might expect, someone had died.” “tears were frozen to the book thief’s face.” White is also part of the Nazi flag.
Red: Red is a much more vibrant and violent color then white, it represents blood, rage and war. “You see, people may tell you that Nazi Germany was built on Antisemitism, a somewhat over-zealous leader and a nation of hate-fed bigots, but it would all have come to nothing had the Germans not loved one particular activity – to burn. The Germans loved to burn things. Shops, synagogues, Reichstag’s, houses, personal items, slain people and, of course books.” p. 90
In the novel red also represents the burning of the books, to try and rewrite history Germany used fire to burn away their past (books). The color red also obviously appears when blood is shed, at the end of the book after liesel’s town was bombed, blood of her loved ones flooded the street evidently death saw boiling thick red skies everywhere. Red for communism, also relates to the bombs.
Black: “Next is a signature black, to show the poles of my versatility if you like.” This quote pretty much tells us that the opposite of what the color white means is what the color black stands for. Basically, if white stands for purity, innocence, and goodness; then black would stand for dirtiness, impurity, and evilness. And this is said directly after saying “Signature black”, which stands for the Nazi party’s main symbol of their group. Death is saying that everything the Nazi party stands for is evil, impure, and just bad in general. Just from this, people would think that Death dislikes the Nazis, however there is a problem there. He is linking this to himself, saying it is one of the sides of himself, which would mean Death hates himself, which is a little bit too far fetched, right? In any case, he doesn’t think anything good of the Nazi party, and a scribbled color of black.
Death : “I do try to enjoy every color I see – the whole spectrum. A billion or so flavors [colors], none of them quite the same, and a sky to slowly suck on. It takes the edge off the stress”
“Above me, the sky eclipsed – just a last moment of darkness – and I swear I could see a black signature in the shape of a swastika. It loitered…above,” pg 451.
“The question is, what color will everything be at that moment when I come for you? What will the sky be saying?”