The Book Thief - 1/11/17 Discussion Question

  • 11 Jan 2017 8:59 AM
    Message # 4542112

    What was the author’s purpose behind choosing Death as a narrator? Is this a trustworthy narrator? How does Death see things that a human narrator might not? 

  • 11 Jan 2017 10:46 AM
    Reply # 4542229 on 4542112

    I thought it was a very interesting way to approach the narration.  Throughout the book, it always gave me a sense of how extraordinary Liesel's story was - that given all the different places Death traveled (and sadly, how busy he was during that time period) that he remembered this particular special girl and her story.  At the same time, it reminded me, as the reader, that that this was but one of hundreds of (true) stories of strength and courage and compassion occurring anywhere in the world at that very moment.

  • 11 Jan 2017 11:43 AM
    Reply # 4542404 on 4542112

    It was quite a bold choice but one that fit so well with the carnage in war and it lends the book an elegiac quality.

    This is my third time reading it, once for myself and once for another book group, but again, I'm blown away by the language, especially Death's. I love the way he describes colors and gives us such varied glimpses of those he takes up.

  • 12 Jan 2017 9:30 AM
    Reply # 4543997 on 4542112

    Strangely, I think Death as the narrator was meant to give us hope, to show us that there is a bigger reason for all we endure in life. Personally, I don't think any first-person narrator is trustworthy, as they each have their own biases that color the way they experience events. But, Death may be more trustworthy a narrator than a person because Death presumably sees more than a person would.

  • 12 Jan 2017 12:48 PM
    Reply # 4544376 on 4542112
    Susan Boland (Administrator)

    One of the things that I found interesting is that Death isn't omniscient or omnipotent. Death was a curious choice for a book aimed at young adults but I have found that young adult literature is tackling very adult themes these days.

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