Sunday, 25 March 2012

The Book Thief: Reading Respond X


Part 10: The Book Thief


The End of The World (Part I)



The scene flashed forward to the future, where Death got to visit to Himmel Street as it was being bombed. Everyone was sleeping except Liesel, who was also the only one survived. She was in the basement, rereading her life story that she wrote. After the bombing, she hit the paint can with a pencil, letting the rescuer team know that she was there. Meanwhile, Death had just picked up her Mama and Papa's souls. She then saw her Papa's body and cried out, all the while holding to the book she wrote.



The Ninety-Eightth Day



For the first ninety-seven days after Hans came back; everything was fine, even after Hans was sent into the city to resume his service. However, on the ninety-eighth day, Micheal hung himself due to his guilt of living. Frau Holtzapfel broke down when Hans was forced to inform her and lay crying on the street. Hans took the responsibility to sit with her and walked her into her house after hours that she hugged her dead son.



The War Maker



Micheal's funeral was held on July 27, 1943, the same day as the Allies were bombed and forty-five thousand people were killed. Despite the crime, Death had to admire Hitler for his determination. Meanwhile, Max was already in a concentration camp.



Way of the Words



Finally, the day came, when Liesel spotted Max in one of the Jews parade. She walked to him, called out his name as he called out hers. He told her he was caught while he tried to escape to his hometown. Then, a soldier came and dragged her away, but she fought her way back. She started citing the words from The Word Shaker and Max stopped dead. Everyone watched as the soldier started whipping Max for stopping and then a whip landed on Liesel's shoulder. Rudy rushed in to hold her still as she fell to the ground, so she would not follow Max. He had to push her down when she tried to stand up and called for Max.



Confession



Liesel went to wait for Papa in the train station for half a day. When Rudy told Rosa what happened, she did not say anything and went to wait with the girl. When Hans came back and knew what happened, he tried to play the accordion to cheer everyone up. It did not work.

After three days of staying on bed, Liesel finally got up and answered Rudy's question, they walked toward Dachau as she took almost an hour to tell him everything. She showed him The Word Shaker. He found himself in one of the sketches and was surprised she told Max about him. Liesel, suddenly realizing how much she loved her best friend, simply said of course.



Ilsa Hermann's Little Black Book



At first, Liesel walked to the mayor's house to steal something, to cheer her up. But as she went on, rage built up inside her as she saw flashbacks of the damage the war had caused to people around her; all because the words the Fuhrer had spoken. She blamed the words. She then proceeded to rip a book into shed, taking her anger out on words. After she calmed down, she wrote a letter of apology to Ilsa for destroying her book. She punished herself by not going to the library again, but it came to her. Later, Ilsa Hermann came to her house and handed her a black notebook. She believed Liesel had the potential to write well and asked Liesel not to punish herself, or else the girl would be just like her. They then had coffee and bread with jam in the kitchen and Liesel told her that when her story was finished, she would let Ilsa read it. After that, in the night, Liesel would go down the basement to write her book, which she named it, ‘The Book Thief’.



The Rib-cage Plane



Every night, she would go to the basement and tried to write at least ten pages of her life, for fearing that something would be left out and forgotten. After ten nights of writing, another bomb raid came. Papa had to wake her up and together they fetched Frau Holtzapfel. By the time of the next raid, she had already finished the story of her life. She divided it into ten parts for ten books, how they made an imprint in her life. As she read and reread her work, bombs began to drop from the rib-cage of planes.



The End of the World (Part II)



Death picked up the souls of the Himmel Street one by one, started with Tommy and his family. Frau Holtzapfel was waiting for him in the kitchen, while Frau Driller was fast asleep. Her shop was destroyed and the picture of Hitler shattered. Death stepped on the Fuhrer's portrait as he came out of the shop. And then, he moved on to the Steniners.

Rudy was with his sister, being pushed almost out of the bed. Death tried to comfort his soul, but found himself weeping for the boy who painted himself black.

Next, Papa. His soul was sat up, meaning that he held no regret and was ready. His only worry was for Liesel, who would escape Death that night. And then, Mama. Death really thought she was snoring when she died. He saw through her, a woman more capable of love then anyone would think.

When the rescue team found Liesel, Death let his curiosity took over him. She was screaming, wailing and then started to mumbling non senses. As she was led by one of the rescuer, she saw the accordion, broken. She took it and then saw Frau Holtzapfel's body. She immediately looked around and saw another body being carried out: Rudy's. She went for him, yelling at him, confessing her love for him and then kissed him; all for the hope that he might wake up. He didn't. Not long after she tore herself from Rudy, she saw her parents. At first, she just stood there, hoping that they would move to her. But when the reality caught up with her, she moved and sat between them. She talked to Rosa of the first day she arrived at the Himmel Street and how beautiful she was strapped to the accordion. She did not talk to Hans, but instead gave him the accordion. In her eyes, she saw him alive and playing. And then he stopped. She hugged him and told him goodbye.

As Liesel wept, her book was dropped and forgotten. It eventually was thrown into a garbage truck, where Death climbed in and picked it up. Over the time he traveled, the words in it would fade away, but Death remembered them.




Epilogue


Death and Liesel



Long after the war, Liesel died an old woman. She was surrounded by her husband, her children, her grandchildren and all those who had affected her life. Her soul sat up, waiting for Death to come for her.



Wood In the Afternoon



Once the Himmel Street was cleared, Liesel had nowhere to go. Three hours later, the mayor and his wife showed up. They went into a car, where Ilsa sat beside Liesel with the accordion between them.

For four days, she did not wash herself, ate very little, slept a lot and talked even more. On the day of the funeral, she went to the Amper River and talked to Rudy. Afterward, another ceremony was held for the Steiner family as Alex finally got a leave. He regretted not sending Rudy to the school, or so he told Liesel when he heard about her survival. In return, she told him she kissed Rudy. He gave her a smile and a tear.



Max



After the war and Hitler's death, Alex went back to his business. In October 1945, Max came looking for Liesel in the shop. They hugged and cried on the floor.



The Handover Man



When Death met Liesel, he gave her The Book Thief. She was very surprised by it and asked if Death could understand it. He paused and thought for a moment. He would never really understand how there could be such good and such evil at the same time in mankind, but both of them had already experienced it. So he told her the only thing he knew for certain; that he was haunted by humans.

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