“The stand over man”
Its an eye opening book that dives into the perspective of Max’s life and how he sees Liesel. The contents of the book show us imagery of a bird man and his growing bond between a young girl. The book is gifted to Liesel from Max to show us how Max and Liesels relationship ship has grown. Max painted over the pages of Mein Kampf to write a new story on top. This shows that Max values the importance of his friendship with Liesel more than the protection that Mein Kampf offers him. This is easy to overlook yet important to know because it gives a deeper meaning to Max’s story of survival and what he values as a human. The title also provides us with some valuable information as it has literal relevance to individuals in the text, “The stand over man.” To be stood over by someone is to be of lower status but in a menacing way which characters like Max, Hans and Liesel all have. Though the text may not suggest the individuals stand over men we are left to assume who they could be. Max’s has been running from his stand-over man in a long chase across Germany. Though Max has never meet Hitler in person it is the stigma around him that gets drilled into Max’s mind as he is unable to deal with the negative energy around Hitler. It literally wears him down. But I can elaborate on this idea and say that Max’s stand-over man is the Nazi movement as it is the real reason he must always be running. The stand-over man doesn’t necessarily just have to be a man as it is more of a symbol for what keeps you from living life how you desire. For Liesel it is arguably Death as he is who claimed the life of his brother and took her mother to certain death. These deaths are what holds Liesel back in her younger age as she always mourns for her loss. To have a stand-over man isn’t always a bad thing either as they can be the things that make us a stronger person in later life. Due to the conflicts these people suffer from there will be plenty of sorrow that follows but these stand-over men will be the things that mature these people for the life ahead. In some sense Death overshadows everyone in this book as he is with them throughout the entirety of WW2, even Hitler. That is what war does to the people, it creates a more vivid presence of the one stand-over man that is inevitable in life, Death.
“The Gravedigger’s Handbook”
The grave digger acted as a tribute to Liesels deceased brother. It was the last thing that kept him alive in her heart as it was the item she found at his funeral that she could remember him by. Though the contents of the book were of no importance to her the book still held meaning. This makes the purpose of this book rather interesting because it shows that books can hold important memories that aren’t even related to the words inside. As much as I would like to correlate the title of the book to something significant in the book I cannot for I purely see The Gravedigger’s Handbook as a symbol.
The shoulder shrug
This book is a symbol of Liesels love for literature as it was stolen from the dying embers of a fire. A fire that was lit to forget the old ways and spark a new era. No matter how vial the reasons of the fire were it didn’t matter to Liesel as she was set on one thing. Its a quite ironic that the book she happens to steal is titled ‘The Shoulder Shrug.’ I find this Ironic because of the way the situation is handled, I can imagine Liesel shrugging it off as if to say “Meh could of done something worse than this.” Perhaps Liesel doesn’t understand the severity of her actions if she were to be caught by the wrong person but lucky for her it was Hans who got to the case first.