Max Vandenburg - The Book Thief: Markus Zusak
A book written by Max Vandenberg about a little girl, the Fuhrer, and the power of Liesel Meminger's brother who died on the way to his foster parent's place in Hans and Rosa's son who is a devout Nazi and has a strained relation with his Rudy and Liesel's Himmel Street companion who has a major problem in his. create Collections and Bookmarks, participate in Challenges, import works, and background, country of origin, sexual identity and/or personal relationships . Mar 1, Max Vandenburg and Liesel have a lot of similarities in there life's they both have You could argue that Liesel Meminger had it easy. that Max would go through the trouble and give her something when he doesn't even.
He is the son of a WWI German soldier who fought alongside Hans Hubermann, and the two developed a close friendship during the war. He has brown, feather-like hair and swampy brown eyes. During the Nazi reign of terror, Hans agrees to shelter Max and hide him from the Nazi party. During his stay at the Hubermanns' house, Max befriends Liesel, because of their shared affinity for words.
He writes two books for her and presents her with a sketchbook that contains his life story, which helps Liesel to develop as a writer and reader, which, in turn, saves her life from the bombs. She entered depression after the death of her only son in the Great War. Ilsa allows Liesel to visit and read books in her personal library. She also gives Liesel a little black book, which leads Liesel to write her own story, "The Book Thief". Paula Meminger Liesel's Mother [ edit ] Liesel's mother is only mentioned in the story a few times.
Liesel's mother met the same fate as her father, but Liesel eventually realizes her mother gave her away to protect her. Throughout the novel, the deaths of prominent characters reaffirm the presence of mortality. Because the novel takes place during World War II, death and genocide are nearly omnipresent in the novel. Death is presented in a manner that is less distant and threatening. Because Death narrates and explains the reasons behind each character's destruction, as well as explains how he feels that he must take the life of each character, Death is given a sense of care rather than fear.
At one point, Death states "even death has a heart," which reaffirms that there is a care present in the concept of death and dying. As symbolic elements, they provide liberation and identity to the characters who are able to wield their power.
The Book Thief: Relationships by Jeremy Fleming on Prezi
They also provide a framework for Liesel's coming of age. In the beginning of the novel, she obtains a book at her brother's funeral, one that she is unable to read.
As the story progresses, she slowly learns how to read and write because of the tutelage of her foster father Hans. At the end of the story, her character arc is heavily defined by her ability to read and write. The development of her literacy mirrors her physical growth and strength developing over the course of the story.
Language, reading, and writing also serve as social markers. The wealthy citizens in the story are often portrayed as owning their own libraries and being literate, while the poor characters are illiterate and do not own any books. The Nazi burning of books is also represented in the novel.
Symbolically, Liesel's continuous rescue of the books the Nazis burn represents her reclaiming of freedom and fight against being controlled by the Nazis. Liesel overcomes her traumas by learning to love and be loved by her foster family and her friends. In the beginning of the novel, Liesel is traumatized not only by the death of her brother and her separation from her only family, but also as a result of the larger issues regarding war-torn Germany and the destruction by the Nazi party.
I wanted to stop. I wanted to say: I did not crouch down. I did not speak. Instead, I watched her awhile. When she was able to move, I followed her. She dropped the book. The book thief howled. Besides the constant physical violence, the girl also suffers psychological humiliation, such as being called offensive names.
However, Death softens her actions towards Liesel by highlighting her good heart, especially in moments related to the hiding of Max.
By showing how Rosa risks her life helping a Jewish man, Death shows that Liesel is not wrong in loving her foster mother and obeying her. When Rosa receives Max and tries her best to keep him well fed and alive, Death emphasizes in bold letters her good will: What shocked Liesel most was the change in her mama. Whether it was the calculated way in which she divided the food, or the considerable muzzling of her notorious mouth, or even the gentler expression on her cardboard face, one thing was becoming clear.
They are either briefly focalized or not focalized at all like the mayor. In general, they usually are taken as examples of behavior being a Nazi that highlight the good behavior of Liesel and her friends and family being secretly against or suspicious of the regime. Embedded Focalization Embedded narrative also known as interpolated or inserted narrative is a major component of The Book Thief. In the following extract Jong explains embedded focalization with more details: It is one of the special characteristics of narrative texts that a primary narrator-focalizer can embed the focalization of a character in his narrator-text, recounting what that character is seeing, feeling, or thinking, without turning him into a secondary narrator-focalizer who would voice his own focalization in a speech.
Such embedding of focalization is explicit when marked by verbs of seeing, feeling or thinking and so on. Interesting to notice that the first time Death sees Liesel she is sleeping next to her brother Werner and their mother. Death describes her dream and hands the focalization over to Liesel: In the dream, she was attending a rally at which he spoke, looking at the skull-colored part in his hair and the perfect square of his mustache.
She was listening contentedly to the torrent of words spilling from his mouth. His sentences glowed in the light. In a quieter moment, he actually crouched down and smiled at her.
The reason for that she would find out in due course. One still in a dream. It would be better for a complete dream, I think, but I really have no control over that. Zusak, 20 - 21 In this case, the narrator remains and the focalizer changes. However, the narrator jumps in and regains control of the focalization by adding information Liesel is not able to know at this point of the narrative.
As Bal reminds her readers: In both situations the primary narrator-focalizer shifts the focalization and Liesel becomes the secondary focalizer; however, she never becomes the secondary narrator as Death keeps rigid control over the facts narrated: Every night, Liesel would nightmare.
Staring at the floor. She would wake up swimming in her bed, screaming, and drowning in the flood of sheets.
On the other side of the room, the bed that was meant for her brother floated boatlike in the darkness. Slowly, with the arrival of consciousness, it sank, seemingly into the floor.
Possibly the only good to come out of these nightmares was that it brought Hans Hubermann, her new papa, into the room, to soothe her, to love her.
The narratee is allowed to see what Liesel sees, thinks and feels; and these dreams, nightmares and daytime visions form a net of embedded units which reflect the frame narrative that embeds them. A significant fact in The Book Thief is that all narrative passages characterized by embedded focalization do not take more than four short paragraphs to deliver the message.
Even Liesel, whose perception is normally on the spotlight, is not granted with very long descriptions of her cognition. Death concedes brief but frequent moments of focalization for the young protagonist. On the other hand, Max Vandenburg is granted four and a half long pages to have his vision of an imaginary boxing fight between him and Hitler.
Here Death hands the focalization over to Max and does not intrude or make any of his sarcastic comments. The following extract serves as example: He was twenty-four, but he could still fantasize. He breathed and turned. Around him, it all materialized. White light lowered itself into a boxing ring and a crowd stood and murmured … Diagonally across, Adolf Hitler stood in the corner with his entourage. One by one they climbed into the ring and beat him down.
They made him bleed. They let him suffer. Millions of them-until one last time, when he gathered himself to his feet. Nothing but dark now.
The Deadly Perception of the Witness: Focalization in Markus Zusak’s The Book Thief
Zusak, Such a long shift on focalization might be justified by the empathy Death feels towards the suffering of the Jews, whose inner voices he hears every time he goes to concentration camps or any other site where Jews are being killed. Nevertheless, Death assumes a neutral position in relation to this vision and refrains from making any kind of comment before, during or after this vision.
It is relevant to say that Death, when collecting the souls of murdered Jews, does not make any of his sarcastic comments either, which might imply a respectful attitude towards the miserable situation Max is going through. It is clear, also, that the boxing scene functions as a metaphor of the current mass murder program instituted by the Nazis against the Jews. As Hitler cannot defeat the Jews by himself, he uses the power of oratory to instigate the nation against supposed enemies.
As Death cannot give voice to the millions of Jewish souls he collects, he uses the boxing scene as a long embedded narrative that summarizes and mirrors their agony. Long after this vision, when Liesel was told about it by Max, the narrator offers another shift on focalization using the same boxing scene. He waves him forward. When the visions dissipated and she finished her first page, Papa winked at her.
Mama castigated her for hogging the paint. Max examined each and every page, perhaps watching what he planned to produce on them. Many months later, he would also paint over the cover of that book and give it a new title, after one of the stories he would write and illustrate inside it.
The two levels of narrative complement each other. Perceptual Focalization Although engaging the five senses, the term focalization tends to indicate visual activity. Jahn captures this fact as follows: There is a strong link between focalization and visually oriented activity; however, there are other sensory modes through which focalization is realized.
As the psychological and ideological facets are the subject of a heated controversy and debate for stretching too long the scope of focalization as proposed by Genette, the present discussion focuses only on the perceptual facet, whose issues find relevant examples in the narrative of The Book Thief. Therefore, the perception of the focalizer involves the five senses which are regulated by temporal and spatial dimensions that constitute the locus of the focalizer.
On the matter of space the author explains: In the first, the focalizer is located at a point far above the object s of his perception. As he is Death personified, his vision is unlimited, allowing him to see beyond the frontiers of human eyes and perception. It is true he is telling a story based on a book he has been reading repeatedly for a long time and, for that, he would have the limited view of an internal focalizer.
The next passage shows one of these moments, when Death arrives at a plane crash, collects the pilot's soul and comes back through the crowd towards the sky, describing the scene panoramically: I walked in, loosened his soul, and carried it gently away. All that was left was the body, the dwindling smell of smoke, and the smiling teddy bear.
The Book Thief
As the crowd arrived in full, things, of course, had changed. The horizon was beginning to charcoal. What was left of the blackness above was nothing now but a scribble, and disappearing fast. As I made my way through, each person stood and played with the quietness of it. It was a small concoction of disjointed hand movements, muffled sentences, and mute, self-conscious turns. You see, to me, for just a moment, despite all of the colors that touch and grapple with what I see in this world, I will often catch an eclipse when a human dies.
In The Book Thief Death owns a panchronic view, as he has access to the past, present and future of the characters. Besides the recurring visual activity especially used to notice colorsDeath employs his hearing not only to focalize perceptible elements, like the sound of approaching bombs or gunshots, for example, but also to detect thoughts from souls that call him.
The ability Death has of listening to the suffering souls is explored throughout the narrative, which increases the dramatic effect of the story, especially because the narrator, as focalizer, focuses only in the inner voices of those he considers the victims of the war, be them Jews, poor German citizens or soldiers who die in the name of an unfair political regime.
Regarding the other senses, Death normally mixes them, which creates images close to poetry: At that moment, you will be lying there I rarely find people standing up.