What are ten examples from the first five parts of The Book Thief that use literary devices and figurative language?

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Markus Zusak is an excellent wordsmith when it comes to using figurative language in his writing. In The Book Thief , figures of speech pop up everywhere. There are so many throughout the book that one might be able to open to any page and find one or more examples....

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Markus Zusak is an excellent wordsmith when it comes to using figurative language in his writing. In The Book Thief, figures of speech pop up everywhere. There are so many throughout the book that one might be able to open to any page and find one or more examples. For instance, when Liesel discovers that her brother is dead on the train, Death explains it as follows:

"The second eye jumped awake and she caught me out, no doubt about it" (21).

The line above uses personification when it compares Liesel's eye opening up quickly as if it were jumping. Eyes don't jump or wake, per se; people do. Zusak uses personification multiple times, too. In fact, here is another one:

"This time, the train limped through the snowed-in country. It hobbled in and stopped" (22).

This line shows the train limping and hobbling as though it were a crippled or fatigued person, which probably also describes how Liesel and her mother feel the night that Werner dies. Next, when Liesel cries outside of the Hubermanns' house, personification is used again as follows:

"A gang of tears trudged from her eyes as she held on and refused to go inside" (28).

Tears don't trudge; people do, though. The use of personification allows readers to apply some personal understanding of what trudging feels like in order to understand how hard Liesel was crying. Another example of personification is when the text says, "She settled into the long arms of grass, lying back" (71). Grass doesn't have long arms, but people do. Even schoolwork is personified when Liesel starts learning about letter writing as follows:

"In the middle of January, schoolwork turned its attention to letter writing" (94).

In this line, the schoolwork is personified; it turns "its attention to letter writing." Schoolwork doesn't have attention; people do. Zusak seems to project his characters' feelings onto objects when he uses personification.

A few metaphors and similes that are used in The Book Thief are as follows:

"She didn't see him watching as he played, having no idea that Hans Hubermann's accordion was a story. In the times ahead, that story would arrive at 33 Himmel Street in the early hours of morning . . ." (71).

In the above passage, the accordion is compared to a story, which creates a metaphor. An example of a simile can be found in the following:

"In some places, like Frau Diller's, the glass was vigorously washed, and the swastika looked like a jewel on a red-and-white blanket" (102-103).

In this passage, the swastika is compared to a jewel with the word "like," which creates a simile. Another example of a simile is, "To their left, flames and burning books were cheered like heroes" (113). In this line, the flames of the book-burning bonfire are compared to heroes for whom the crowd is cheering. This certainly creates an odd mood when one thinks about people burning works of literature for "fun." 

Two more similes are used when Hans Hubermann experiences an epiphany about how to get Max to his house as follows:

"This time, his voice was like a fist, freshly banged on the table. The man was seeing something. He was watching it quickly, end to end, like a race, but it was too high and too far away for Liesel to see" (126).

The first simile in this passage compares Hubermann's voice to a fist banging down on a table. This must mean it was loud and startling. Then the idea that he has in his head is compared to a race because of how quickly it moves through his thoughts. 

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