Role 2: The connector
I’m not really sure if this counts as a connection or not, but I just think it’s something worth talking about:
Liesel’s farewell to her parents and to Rudy; notice that the death of her brother is the single event that traumatized for years, she already knew how it felt to lose a loved one from death. That being said, it must have been equally difficult for her to see her parents and Rudy die. Yet, this time we see a change in her: this time she was actually capable to say goodbye to them, not to mention that she finally gave Rudy the kiss he so much insisted on. This teaches me that for people in the real world, it obvioulsly is difficult to let someone go, yet one has to be strong enough to stand up, face it, and move on. This was probably the ultimate test of Liesel’s strength which, I believe, she successfully passed.
Another thing I wanted to point out, would anyone agree that the overall theme of the book has to do with death? I mean, the book started off with death, and ended with death; and we can’t ignore the fact that the whole novel was narrated by Death itself. What do you guys think? You guys don’t have to answer this paragraph if you don’t want to; I’m just curious to know what you think.
Role 1: Discussion Leader
1) Does Rudy’s wish to kill Hitler indicate a change in his personality? If so, how? Do you think this particular event or thought will have an impact in Rudy’s future actions?
2) Before Rosa hands Liesel “The Word Shaker”, she talks about having been told to give the book to her when Liesel was ready. What “readiness” is she referring to?
3)Do anyone of you guys think there is some significance behind the dying pilot scene with the teddy bear?
Role 5: Word Master
Warning: Too many ponies, seriously.
Note: These words are all “Duden Dictionary Meanings” from the novel. Each has a specific, significant purpose. There is a reason as to why they are used in the way the author uses them.
Note #2: I apologize beforehand for the excesive use of ponies. When I was looking for images, the best visual examples for the words just so happened to all be coinsidently related to ponies. I don’t even follow My Little Pony!
1. Zufriedenheit (358):
Happiness. Coming from happy; enjoying pleasure and contentment.
2. Verzeihung (368):
Forgiveness. To stop feeling anger, animosity, or resentment.
3. Angst (375):
Fear. An unpleasant, often strong emotion caused by anticipation or awareness of danger.
4. Wort (382):
Word. A meaningful unit of language / a promise / a short remark, statement, or conversation.
5. Gelegenheit (385):
Opportunity. A chance for advancement or progress.
6. Elend (391):
Misery. Great suffering, unhappiness, and distress.
7. Schweigen (398):
Silence. The absence of sound or noice.
8. Nachtrauern (401):
Regret. Sorrow filled with longing dissapointment, or loss.
Role 3: Passages
“First and foremost, we want a good clean fight. Unless, of course, Herr Hitler, you begin to lose. Should this occur, we will be quite willing to turn a blind eye to any unconscionable tactics you might employ to grind this piece of Jewish stench and filth into the canvas” (252).
This is a quote from the ringmaster during Max’s fantasy boxing match with Hitler. Not only do we see a clear example of preference over Hitler and double standard, but we have to keep in mind that it is Max the one who is imagining this being said. Obviously, he is aware of what the public thinks of Jews during Hitler’s period of influence. Yet, I think it’s fascinating how crude he is while (in a way) describing himself. He is doing a decent job at putting himself at someone else’s shoes.
I thought this was perhaps one of the most significant sections of this week’s reading. What are your thoughts?
Role 2: Connector
A connection I see right away is Rudy’s “permanent hunger” situation, which is why he steals food. As described in page 149, the Steiners were barely getting through when it came to money, and we have to remember that Rudy is not an only child, but one of six children in the Steiner household.
I see this as a connection with real life civilian families in Germany during this time period, where some people were under economic distress, due to a higher demand of taxes to pay for war equipment. This economic downfall was especially stressful for the ones who worked to support their family. Back then, the average families were bigger, which meant more mouths to feed. When it all adds up it leads to starvation, and possibly (as in Rudy’s case) stealing food.
One has to be really desperate in order to have the necessity to straight up steal something as essential as food, which is what we see with Rudy.
What do you guys think? Did anyone find another connection?
Role 1- Discussion Leader
1) Why did the mayor’s wife decide to show Liesel her personal library? What was the purpose behind it?
2) Would Liesel’s reaction to finishing “The Shoulder Shrug” be any different to what it was when she finished “The Grave Digger’s Handbook”? Do you think she will be excited, shocked, depressed, or will she just be ready to steal her next book?
3) Is it just me or does the book actually not make it clear about Hans’ relationship to Max?
Words/concepts to think about-
Colors (specially red, white, and black):
The author consistently uses colors to set the mood in particular scenes; however what stands out the most are the colors red, white, and black. These are introduced as the colors that the narrator, Death, uses to describe his three encounters with the book thief, Liesel Meminger. He particularly mentions his encounters to be “red boiling soup”, “global white”, and a “signature black”. He then makes the connection of these three things and becomes the Swastika flag. The story takes place in Nazi Germany, so these three colors will most likely be quite significant throughout the novel as a whole. These can be found in pages 5-14.
“ ***A Definition Not Found in the Dictionary***- Not leaving: An act of trust and love, often deciphered by children” (37).
The fact that an action is presented in the book as a concept that can be defined like in a dictionary makes this little note unusual and interesting. The narrator foreshadows constantly, and he points out key words, events, and facts. This note seems to be one of them.
This world is defined in the novel as (male) pig. It is constantly used as an insult towards Hans Hubermann. It just reminds the reader that Rosa Hubermann dislikes her husband.
Words That I Chose Because I Didn’t Know What They Meant-
Characterized by forcefulness of expression or intensity of emotion or conviction; fervid.
Presence in a place, distinguishably ‘there’, not ‘here’. Real existence.