What do EACH of these colours represent in these pages? What do they show is taking place? What atmosphere or feeling is created around the characters
and events through this colour imagery? What do the colours make you
White: This represents death’s first victim in the book thief and the environment during. The colour white was for the snow he saw everywhere as he took the soul, “I felt as though the whole globe was dressed in snow. Trees wore blankets of ice.” Death saw white everywhere and in everything as he took the soul of Liesel’s brother. White and the snow became a symbol for Liesel’s brother’s death to Liesel herself as well. “Quote”
Black: Represents the colour of the sky during a night bombing raid on himmel street, when death came slightly early to take a mans soul. This is direct contrast to the white environment but nothing has changed there is still someone dying, except that the person dying doesn’t relate to Liesel. “Next is signature black, to show the poles of my versatility, if you like. It was the darkest moment before dawn.” This shows that death can come at any time any place, when its your time you can’t escape it. It’s interesting how he says it’s his ‘signature black,’ to say how most people relate him to dark and night. The picture of the grim reaper in a black robe and stuff.
Red: This represents the blood spilled by the bombs dropped on Himmel Street. Not necessarily the literal blood spilled, but the deaths spilled all down the street. Everyone but Liesel. “The streets were ruptured veins,” Death describes the street as vein itself burst and destroyed by the bombs, bleeding rubble.
The colours don’t really provide an atmosphere as much as they do the setting for me.
The blinding white during WWII maybe a reference to the weapons used. The guns provided thousands of flashes as they shoot. Imagine watching a kilometer long trench of soldiers all firing their weapons the would be blinding. The black may be a reference to the constant promise of death hanging over all the soldiers at all times. They are always at threat of being killed. The white could also reference the insanely cold conditions which the soldiers faced and many died to. Red represents death of course, the gallons of blood spilled because of nazi germany’s lust for dominion. It represents the over 60 millions deaths during WWII.
Black reference where max is hiding waiting to see if he can stay with the Hubermanns. “A few hundred miles north-west in Stuttgart, far from book thieves, mayor’s wives and Himmel Street, a man was sitting in the dark…It’s harder to find a Jew in the dark.” This is another reference to black in the text where max was hiding from the nazi party to not be ‘taken away.’ The black represents anxiety of waiting to see what will come thought the door, life or death; friends or Nazi’s. It reminds me of Schrodinger’s theorem how both outcomes are very real possibilities.
White reference of Frau Hermann “Chalky hand and wrist…she reached out, cold-fingered….long, light eyelashes.” Frau Hermann’s son froze to death in the war so she conditions herself to those temperatures in her library. She leaves her window open to let in the cold as a form of catharsis. She tries to release her feelings or get rid of her grief by putting herself through what her son faced. She was white all through: her skin and herself on the inside. She was blank to the world like paper.
“And now, we say goodbye, to this rubbish, this poison.” Red reference when the German’s were burning books on Hitler’s birthday. The German’s burnt the books to rid their library’s of anything that said they weren’t superior. They also burnt anything relating to German-Jews. The irony is by the end of the war they were burning real Humans.