Words have great power and when used correctly can influence what people believe and how they act.
In Markus Zusak’s The Book Thief, many characters develop an understanding of the power of words throughout out the novel which results in characters being negatively impacted.
Characters that are negatively affected by the strength that words carry include Liesel, Hans and Rudy.
Liesel is an example of a character that is negatively impacted by the power of words.
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Liesel’s slow development of the power of words causes her to experience the negative effects of words and misery on many occasions throughout her lifetime.
Liesel is abandoned by her mother at a young age.
“’Is my mother a communist?’ Staring. Straight ahead. ‘They were always asking her things, before I came here.’ … ‘Did the Fuhrer take her away?’ … ‘I knew it.’ The words were thrown at the steps and Liesel could feel the slush of anger stirring hotly in her stomach. ‘I hate the Fuhrer’ she said. ‘I hate him.’” (115)
Liesel’s mom leaves her with foster parents because she wishes to protect her from the fate she is enduring. The words Paula, Liesel’s mom, uses go against Hitler which resulted in her being taken away and Liesel to lose her mother and experience the loss of her. This shows Liesel experiences unhappiness because of the words her mother uses and Liesel’s misunderstanding of her mother's actions.
Liesel’ classmates make fun of her because of her lack of reading skills.
“’Hey Liesel,' he said to her, 'I'm having trouble with this word. Could you read it for me?’ He laughed- a ten- year-old smug...
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... unable to make a decision on his own and his parents made the one they thought was the best. Rudy would have been alive if Alex words have accepted the opportunity for the special school.
Rudy’s lack of knowledge of the power words has caused him to be punished.
The power of words can influence what people believe and the actions people make.
Many characters in The Book Thief by Markus Zusak develop an understanding of the strength of power words possess throughout the book which causes them to be undesirably affected.
Liesel, Hans and Rudy are characters that are negatively impacted by the power of words.
One may wonder since in The Book Thief many characters are negatively impacted by the power of words if characters are also positively impacted by the power of words.
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