Summary and Analysis Part 6: The Dream Carrier: Death's Diary: 1942


Death tells us about the demands of his job, how some years are worse than others. He says that humans have a lot of misconceptions about death. For instance, Death doesn't carry a scythe or a sickle; he only wears a hooded black robe when it's cold; and he doesn't appear skull-like. In fact, he tells us, he looks more human than anything. He discusses his business in 1942, how the bodies multiplied and how war became his boss, asking for more and more. Death admits that there are moments of beauty in what he does, and the book thief's life is one of those stories.


This chapter serves to humanize, and characterize, Death. Death provides more commentary on his feelings toward humans and how these catastrophic events do, in fact, affect him. He also brings up the theme of lightness and darkness through his example of Liesel, how there are sometimes beautiful stories like hers hidden amongst all of the destruction and sadness he has witnessed.

Pop Quiz!

After Liesel steals a book from the bonfire, what does the burning book against Liesel's chest symbolize?


I did something really stupid yesterday, and my grandfather told me I was hoist with my own petard." What does that mean? And what's a petard?"