Role 3: Passage Person
“As is often the case with humans, when I read about them in the book thief’s words, I pitied them, though not as much as I felt for the ones I scooped up from various camps in that time. The Germans in basements were pitiable, surely, but at least they had a chance. The basement was not a washroom. They were not sent there for a shower. For those people, life was still achievable.” (376)
I chose this passage because it puts the time period and the lives of our protagonists into perspective; though we do feel greatly for the main characters, it is very easy to forget that they are not the ones suffering the most. We are able to see glimpses of what Jewish people were going through throughout the story, but it is still important to remember that the Jewish people were the real victims of real suffering, no matter how bleak the German people’s lives seemed at the time.
“Again, Himmel Street was a trail of people, and again, Papa left his accordion. Rosa reminded him to take it, but he refused. ‘I didn’t take it last time,’ he explained, ‘and we lived.’ War clearly blurred the distinction between logic and superstition.” (380)
I chose this passage because I feel that it very concisely and accurately documents a glimpse of being human in a desperate situation. I find myself falling into superstitions like this even in my daily life, and I imagine that would be greatly exacerbated by the dangerous times. I feel like this shows how far people, even logical people like Hans, will reach in order to find some stability, no matter how illogical the grounds for that stability are.
“In a tall apartment just around the corner on Munich Street, an old lady with a foreboding voice deciphered for everyone the exact source of the commotion. Up high, in the window, her face appeared like a white flag with moist eyes and an open mouth. Her voice was like suicide, landin with a clunk at Liesel’s feet.” (390)
I chose this passage because I really admire Zusak’s ability to construct an atmosphere and the image of a character with just a few simple words. I think the similes in this passage really get the message across, and show his use of language to perfectly accent the point he wants to get across.
For my fellow groupmates, what do you think of the first passage?