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The Power of Words in The Book Thief
Words are extremely important in our present day. We communicate through them, we manipulate them, and we use them to manipulate. This was especially true in Nazi Germany. The Nazi’s had perfected the art of twisting words in order to make others do what they want. Often they manipulated people through the use of propaganda, which was spread through newspapers, books, and radio. However, they do not only twist words. They also destroy them.
In Markus Zusak’s The Book Thief, we are shown a book burning. This is an event where the Nazi’s collect banned, questionable, and anti-Nazi material (such as books) and burn them. They do this because they are afraid of the power that words instilled in people. Death speaks to this when he says, “Once, words rendered Liesel useless, but now, … she felt an innate sense of power” (Zusak 147).
When Liesel was younger, she could not read, and therefore could not understand the world to the same degree as those more educated than her. Once she was able to read, an entire new universe was opened to her. She learns about propaganda, what it means to be communist, but most importantly, she begins to understand the incredible power that words hold.

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