Summary and Analysis
Part 7: The Complete Duden Dictionary and Thesaurus:
Champagne and Accordions
The people of Molching are becoming increasingly fearful of bombings. They've been notified of the nearest shelters and basements, and they blacken their windows at night. For Hans, this means more work. People need him to paint their blinds black. Liesel walks the streets with him, helping him paint. She loves these afternoons with him, hearing his stories, listening to him play his accordion. At one wealthy home, she gets to try champagne. She says she will never drink champagne again because she knows it will never taste as good as it did that day in July 1942.
In this chapter, the relationship between Liesel and Hans grows even deeper and is taking on more of an adult tone as Liesel matures. Liesel is no longer the child that she was when she first arrived at 33 Himmel Street; Hans allows her to partake in drinking champagne, an adult activity.
Hans continues to help those in need, allowing people to pay him in objects or food or drink, instead of money. Liesel learns more about her Papa and sees how truly competent he is, which makes her love him more. She also realizes that she will never hear another accordion player like her Papa; only he can make the accordion sound the way he does. Death's description of hard times coming "like a parade" foreshadows the Jews' through Molching on their way to Dachau later in the novel. Death also includes an excerpt from the Duden Dictionary, a lesson about happiness, illustrating how one word can encompass so much, and using this word to reflect upon how Liesel feels during those moments she spends with her Papa.