Violent Scenes Often Play Dominant Roles in a Story

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In works of literature, violent scenes often play dominant roles in a story. However, these scenes do not exist for their own sake, but instead it adds value and depth to the story being written and told. The Book Thief, written by Markus Zusak, has no departure to this statement. Throughout this story there are a lot of violent scenes, because the holocaust is a very violent time in history, but all of the violence has and brings meaning to the story. All of the violent acts show how mean the nazi, fascist society reacts to the acts of human kindness; they also provide the power of words and, lastly, provides how survivors of tragedies cope with their guilt.

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The story arises during the first time the nazis make a line of jews down Munich street. ‘’Their eyes were enormous in their starving skulls. And the dirt. The dirt was molded to them. Their legs staggered as they were pushed by soldiers’ hands…’’ (Zusak, 391-92). The line of these poor innocent people, being treated animals, it’s definitely an unthinkable scene of harsh violence; they did not deserve to be treated like that. However, Hans Hubermann’s thoughts about the Nazis are recognized through his caring actions. ‘’The jew stood before him, expecting another handful of derision, but he watched with everyone else as Hans Hubermann held his hand out and presented him with a piece of bread, like magic’’ (Zusak, 394). When Hubermann gives the Jew a piece of his bread, his compassion, and care for humans is shown, regardless of their heritage or religious beliefs. From this scene of violence, even through the darkest times, human compassion can still be shown.

The death of Liesel’s brother on the train affected the meaning of violence in the story. ‘’Liesel Meminger-could see without question that her little brother, wener, was now sideways and dead. His blue eyes stared at the floor. Seeing nothing. (Zusac,20). Even though the death of Werner was a quick scene of violence, it sets off a chain of events that brings the story together. Liesel had to stop and bury her brother before she arrives at the foster home, at this stop she picks up The Grave Digger’s Handbook, that was the first book that she stole. As she reads the book, she starts to understand the power and the impact words can have on someone, and how fast they can damage someone.’’The words. Why do they exist?…Without words, the Fuhrer was nothing. There would be no limping prisoner, no need for consolation or worldy tricks to make us feel better’’. (Zusac,521). These events all started with the death of Werner.

Throughout the chain of The Book Thief, many sad violent events happened. However, they had a very primary purpose, as they grant many themes of the story. As the jews are being severely paraded through Munich street, the theme of human compassion shown, when Humbermann gave the piece of bread to the weak dying Jew. The power that words have on a person, Liesel learned that if you say the right words they can, either bring a person up or tear them down. A little scene of violence can change the plot of a story, deepen it’s meanings, and may even add new ones.

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Violent Scenes Often Play Dominant Roles in a Story. (2021, Mar 20). Retrieved January 29, 2023 , from

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