The Book Thief, Markus Zusak, Death, Pain, Suffering
Death, pain, illness, and war often feature heavily into the plots of Young Adult fiction, and Markus Zusak's The Book Thief is no exception. However, by presenting Death as the narrator of the novel, Zusak allows an outside, impartial view of humanity's pain, its causes, its effects, and its meanings. Through a close reading of The Book Thief this paper discovers that Death as a narrator reveals that pain is both unavoidable and necessary to life. Furthermore, though most everyone fears death, life, not death, causes the true pain. Through Death's haunting narration, pain confers eventual strength, endurance, and power. The sophisticated portrayal of universal pain through Death allows this paper to delve further into the intricacies of pain than one might be able to in other Young Adult novels.
BYU ScholarsArchive Citation
Johnson, Sarah K., ""Pain, Death, and Nazis: The Surprisingly Beautiful Function Death Plays as Narrator in Markus Zusak's The Book Thief,"" (2015). Student Works. 128.