Honors English 9
8 May 2014
A New Look On Death
As many people already know, or will learn, death is thought of differently with each person. The Book Thief by Marcus Zusak tells a story in the eyes of death, and also incorporates New Historicism within the book. New Historicism is present when the book was written with the setting is in the past, the text changes culture because it is subjective, and the author and audience do not interpret the text exactly the same was as each other. Death is not always a bad thing and we are taught that throughout the book.
Many readers often do not notice the presence of New Historicism. A first category of the theory to look at is when the author and readers do not interpret the text exactly the same way. In order for that to occur, Markus Zusak and all of his audience must have the same opinion of death and how death makes them feel. With death being the narrator, some may find this extremely interesting, while others may feel uncomfortable. The narrator is not afraid to speak his mind throughout the book by leaving a trail of witty or sarcastic remarks and even says, “It kills me sometimes, the way people die” (464). This quote can not be taken literally, but it can be taken to heart if the readers are not a fan or the narrator. Another example of New Historicism is when the book changes culture. Normally, in Germany from 1939-1942, the culture is to hate the Jewish religion and all who believe in it. The narrator says, “The Germans in basements were pitiable, surely, but at least they had a chance. That basement was not a washroom. They were not sent there for a shower. For those people, life was still achievable,” which is completely against what Hitler and all of his followers believed in, thus changing culture (375). The final proof as to how New Historicism is shown is when culture is present. “Being a Jew in these times means being a criminal. There is no move a Jew in Nazi...