In The Book Thief what is the effect of action and suspense on your emotions?

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mrs-campbell eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The Book Thief is an interesting book because the narrator, Death, gives away some things that are going to happen.  For example, pretty early on in the novel, we know that Rudy is going to die.  This is horrible news; we love Rudy, and don't want him to die.  So, it adds suspense to every single page, because we are constantly just waiting anxiously, wondering, "Will he die on this page?  How about on this one?"  It is strenuous, emotionally speaking.  For each page we are in knots emotionally, wishing and hoping that Death was wrong, or just misleading us, or that a miracle will happen and Rudy will be allowed to live, at the same time stressing about how it is going to happen and when.  So, Death's rather revealing narrative style adds suspense, which in turn ups the emotional involvement of the reader.  If we didn't know that Rudy was going to die, we could just breeze on through, not worrying about anything.  We wouldn't get as attached emotionally, because we would've thought that we had a lot of time with his character.

The action in the book is also heart-wrenching.  The book deals with some pretty emotionally intense action:  siblings and parents dying, bombings, treachery, betrayal, family rivalry, Holocaust victims marching through town while obviously starving, Hans and his tender relationship with Liesel, Max's treacherous journey to the Hubermann household....all of it is emotionally charged.  It is hard not to be impacted by it; any one of those things by themselves is intense, and this book throws them all together for an emotional roller-coaster ride.

I hope that helps a bit, and that you are able to relate.  Good luck!