Symbols In The Book Thief

Words: 1390
Pages: 6

An item is never just an item, an idea is never just an idea. There is always is deeper meaning behind an object's physical form. Throughout The Book Thief, Zusak uses elements of symbolism to create a novel layered with hidden values. Possessions in the book soon become representations of the memories and emotions the characters live with. This is why the theme of The Book Thief is simple objects can have complex meanings.
An example of objects having bigger meaning is The Gravedigger's Handbook. Throughout the beginning of the book, The Gravedigger’s Handbook becomes a recurring object that represents Liesel’s memories of family and the foundations of her future hobbies. On page 87, it states, “Liesel still held the book. She gripped it tighter as the snow turned orange. On one of the rooftops, she could see a small boy, sitting, looking at the sky.” In this passage, Liesel and Hans have just finished reading The Gravedigger's Handbook, when she looks out the window and imagines a boy, Werner, sitting on a rooftop. Also, on page 38, it states, “THE BOOK’S MEANING: The last time she saw her brother.” These passages show the relationship between the book and Werner. They ultimately represent how a book can have more value beyond the contents of its pages. The words, illegible to Liesel, have no influence on the true meaning of the book. The Gravedigger’s Handbook also represents the separation of her family. On pages 25 and 26, it states, “There was the
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Books become symbols of family and friendship. Accordions become symbols of tragedy. Items that were once represented happiness soon represent loss and heartbreak. In the end, the value of an object can only be judged by the ones directly affected by it. Objects with no larger meaning have no true value. The true values of an item come from the memories and emotions an it represents. After all, memories are all around, one just never