From part 5 of The Book Thief, what are two examples of figurative speech? Why did the author choose to use figurative speech here?

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In part 5, "The Whistler," Marcus Zusak continues to have Death, the narrator, use a distinctive, literary style with numerous figures of speech. The idea that Death is eloquent and creative is an element of his personification , endowing an abstract concept of inanimate things with human characteristics. This makes...

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In part 5, "The Whistler," Marcus Zusak continues to have Death, the narrator, use a distinctive, literary style with numerous figures of speech. The idea that Death is eloquent and creative is an element of his personification, endowing an abstract concept of inanimate things with human characteristics. This makes Death seems like an individual rather than an abstraction. Death uses vivid imagery, similes, and metaphors.

Death frequently comments on the colors of the sky. Each color not only marks the weather and informs the reader about current events but gives an indication of Death's view of a character's mood. For example, one day when Liesl emerges into the street, the town of Molching is "covered in a yellow mist." The narrator uses two similes, comparisons using "like" or "as," to emphasize the mist's warmth, evoking a caress and a wetness—comparing it to a bath. The mist "stroked the rooftops as if they were pets and filled up the streets like a bath."

Death continues describing Liesl's actions as she walks down the street. The use of color continues as he mentions the "coppery clouds." The rain's effects are used to personify the words on the newspapers she finds and evoke an atmosphere of sadness. The narrator uses a metaphor, direct comparison of unlike things, to enhance that personification, saying the outside of the paper is "streaked with black tears of print."

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In this section, Liesel returns to the basement to convey the details of her soccer game to Max. After a pause, he asks her to tell him what kind of weather the day holds. Liesel goes back outside and returns with this report:

The sky is blue today, Max, and there is a big long cloud, and it's stretched out, like a rope. At the end of it, the sun is like a yellow hole.

These two similes provide the imagery Max needs to paint the scene, and he realizes that "only a child could have given him a weather report like that." Liesel perfectly captures the beauty of a stunning sky in the details that Max needs to visualize it for himself.

Later as Liesel and Rudy head out to steal some produce, the scene is described this way:

The branches were gray and when they looked up at them, there was nothing but ragged limbs and empty sky.

This imagery shows the bleak world all around and furthers the tone of hopelessness and despair. Liesel and Rudy are desperate for a glimmer of an improvement in their dark world, but it seems that the world is merely "ragged" and "empty" everywhere they look.

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At the beginning of "The Gamblers" in Part Five, Death uses an idiom to express what it is like for the Hubermanns to hide a Jew in their basement:

"Roll a die by hiding a Jew and this is how you live. This is how it looks" (143).

"Roll a die" is a direct reference to gambling, but it also means that a person is taking a dangerous risk in life. Zusak does this as a beginning explanation, or prologue, about how life feels for the Hubermanns while Max resides with them. It also ties into the metaphorical meaning of the title of the chapter. The gamble to have Max in the basement is, of course, risky because they live in Nazi Germany; if they are caught with a Jew in their house, they could all be killed for harboring him. Thus, their decision to hide Max is like gambling or rolling dice.

Next, this secret gnaws at Liesel as she sits on the floor reading books in the mayor's house. To show how nervous Liesel is about this secret, Zusak uses personification as follows:

"As the book quivered in her lap, the secret sat in her mouth. It made itself comfortable. It crossed its legs." (146)

First, Zusak shows the book quivering, which is personification because books don't quiver; people do. In fact, Liesel must have been quivering with nerves. Then, life is given to the secret that sits in Liesel's mouth and crosses its legs. Because the book and the secret are given life in this passage, readers can understand what Liesel must have been feeling and imagining as she fights the urge to tell the mayor's wife that her family is hiding a Jew in their basement. Again, the book quivering represents Liesel's nerves and the urge to let out her secret, and the secret crossing its legs represents Liesel's overcoming the urge to reveal it while settling down to read the book.

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