It’s only the PROLOGUE and I’m Already Confused!?!?!?!

After reading the first chapter of any book, you often have a lot of questions.  The Book Thief  has a very interesting narrator and narration style, which really confused me the first time I read it!  Are you already confused after  Chapter 1?  If so, what are you confused about? If you can help out a classmate, feel free.  I will delete anything that might confuse someone more.  Don’t give up yet!  The greatness is just getting started!!!

To fully understand the novel, you will need to know who the narrator is.

Helpful hint: Prologue means Before (Pro) Words (Logue).  Prologues are meant to give some background information before the story begins and sometimes hint at what is to come.


16 thoughts on “It’s only the PROLOGUE and I’m Already Confused!?!?!?!

  1. The prologue is very confusing but if you listen to every word the interesting narrator is saying you will eventually understand.

    • I agree with Jackson. The prologue was very confusing. But after I read a few chapters I started to understand the story.

      • But now, Im getting confused with the narrator using the colors to explain the sky and the mood of the day. Can someone please help on that?? Thank you 🙂

        • So that is something I still am not completely sure about and something we will definitely discuss in September. All I do know is that the narrator sees colors when he’s picking up various dead bodies and different colors at different times. I am still trying to figure out exactly what colors mean what and am interested to hear various viewpoints. P.S. Anonymous – who are you ?

          • In the beginning of the book the first chapter is all about the narrator, Death. On the first page the chapter is titled “Death and Chocolate.” I think that the color describes him and his personality because on page 4 it says, “Personally I like a chocolate-colored sky. Dark, dark chocolate. People say it suits my personality.”

            He also uses colors to describe other things like in the next chapter “Beside the Railway Line” he describes the snow and day as white. And in my opinion how “The Book Thief” is felling: hollow. Or like when he describes a blinding white I thin k he’s describing “The Book Thief’s” denial towards believing her brother is dead.

            • I definitely agree with you Suzy. There are clues in the story the tell you what “death’s” real personality is like and what they agree or disagree with. Those are great examples too. At first the author made me think that the personality of “death” was way different then who they really were.

  2. To: Anonymous
    When Death talks about the skies during the story, I think that is just his/her perspective. In the story it says that he /she took the souls into the sky. Since Death is always in the sky, I believe that he/she just remembers the particular days and shares them with us. It’s kind of like Death is telling us the weather, just like how Liesel told Max the weather when he was living in her basement. It’s like we’re all Max. We’re all different. We can’t be anyone else because everybody else is already taken. You can only be you.

    • I think I’m starting to get who the narrator is. Tell me if I’m wrong. By reading previous comments from other posts I think Death is a guy. Although I haven’t read to far in the book yet I gathered that Death collects the souls from dead bodies. He also describes the days, surroundings, people, etc. in colors. But I don’t understand a few things:
      – Is he human?
      – Who “hired” him?
      – How does he know when and where he’s supposed to gather souls?
      – Is he like the grimm reaper?
      – Does he have actual contact with people if he is some kind of kindered spirit?

      • I think the questions you have asked are going to put yourself on the right track if you aren’t already. I think you’ll figure out most of these answers by reading and I don’t want to give away what will come. One thing that might help: Does it seem like Death is human? Does he have human characteristics?

        • Well for one he doesn’t think like any normal human. A normal human certainly doesn’t extract souls from human bodies. In the beginning he mentions his “distractions” from his job. I began to figure out that he meant observing humans. Now when i think about it I know he’s not human-like. But, the words grimm reaper still come to mind because in the stories told the grimm reaper is the transporter between the time you die and whatever comes next just like Death.

            • Maybe because being the “Grimm Reaper” is just his job description and the name Death sounds more personal being that he’s the narrator. All of my confusion seems to be cleared now. For those who are confused in the beginning the best way to answer most of the questions, I think, is to just read further. Discussing them also helps. I think my favorite thing about how the author wrote the book is how almost everything is described in colors. It could be confusing but makes sense if you look at it in a different creative perspective.

  3. Did anyone have a specific assumption about the being Death before you read the book? If so, did you find out that your assumption was right or wrong as you continued to read the book? Before I read The Book Thief, I thought of death as a cloaked being who loved mortality and war. I thought that Death should have a personality and heart that is similar to a cold rock. However, I at first didn’t know that Death was the narrator until I finished the prologue. As I continued throughout the story, I came to a different opinion about death. I realized that death is rather sarcastic and “cheerful” and that he does not believe in mortality.

    • I also did not know that “death” was the narrator until after the prologue and continued reading. Yes, I thought “death” was just a glum and lifeless thing. To my surprise they were actually what you said sarcastic, “cheerful,” and at one point sympathetic. Also I do not believe “death” agreed with mortality or even the war.

    • Upon reading the story, I had always perceived Death similar to the way you did, the classic dark hooded figure, lacking any emotions of joy or sympathy. I also had to complete the prologue until I realized that he/she would be the narrator of the story. The first hint that I got was on page 3, where it states ‘You are going to die’. I felt that this suggested that the narrator would have something to do with, or is, the subject of Death. As I moved along in the story, my assumption did indeed change, as I felt that at times Death could indeed look on the bright side of things, and he could occasionally be sympathetic.

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