The Representation of Death: Sam, Logan, and Blake

The representation of Death – ‘The Book Thief’

What do we learn about “Death” in this text?
How is “Death” presented?

Emotions
Try’s to understand people, is fascinated by them
Similar to a human
Different methods to distract him from his work
Liesel isn’t the only human he has cared about
“Haunted by humans”
Looks for hope in humans
Didn’t like mystery
Honest
Humans can’t avoid him
Doesn’t remember every person’s death
Memory isn’t the best

2.9 Reading Response Number 2

Sam Teal

Text Title: The Book Thief

Author: Markus Zusak

Text Type: Novel

Date Finished: 8th of May

“Heil Hitler” this would have been booming through the streets of Germany for over 10 years, including Himmel Street in Molching where a little girl Liesel Meminger was living an extraordinary life.
The Book Thief was written by Australian author Markus Zusak in August 2004 and was published in 2005. His mother was German, and father Austrian, so as he got older they told him stories about their childhood in Europe, and he is quoted as saying in an interview that “It was like a piece of Europe coming into our house. I didn’t realize it at the time, but those stories led me to my writing. My parents were teaching me how to write, just by the way they related their stories.” Depending on his parent’s stance on the Nazi Party and Germany during that time, their stories could have influenced the way he wrote this book, which would have led to writer bias.
The Book Thief focuses on a young girl called Liesel Meminger who was orphaned with her brother but unfortunately her brother died at the train station. During this traumatic time, Liesel picks up a book titled as the “Gravediggers Handbook” although she cannot read it yet it stays with her throughout the book; almost like death chasing her where ever she goes. The Book Thief then follows Liesel’s life with her new foster family, and how she adapts to living in such a hostile Nazi Germany country; even though she is a loving young girl. The book explores her trials and tribulations on Himmel Street and how her relationships develop with the other kids, but most importantly it follows her improvement in reading and writing skills and how it brings so much happiness into her life, even in the darkest of times.

The Book Thief has many different aspects that interest me, but one that stood out to me was the theme of love and how it was portrayed throughout the book and through the different characters and objects. Without the theme of love, there would be no plot progression which would leave the book stale and boring; the author Markus Zusak had this to say when asked about what the Book Thief is about, “It centres on Liesel and is kind of a love story with Liesel in the middle and everything else revolving around her.” Growing up Zusak might have had someone in his life that is similar to Liesel or in a story told from his parents a character might have given him inspiration for her, as her story seems so real.
The idea and theme of love is portrayed through many different characters in the book, for example, Liesel’s love for books, Max, and her foster-father Hans, Rudy’s love for Liesel, and Hans love for Liesel as well as music. One of the strongest and most heart-wrenching moments in the book is when the Nazi guards are marching Jewish prisoners through Molching and one of them collapses. All the locals see this and don’t do anything to help the poor man on the ground as he is Jewish, but Hans Hubberman is different; he does not have a bad bone in his body, “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 a piece of bread, like magic. When it changed hands, the Jew slid down. He fell to his knees and held Papa’s shins. He buried his face between them and thanked him.” The resulting consequences for Hans are rough as he is whipped by the Nazi guards and is labelled a Jew lover throughout his town. Hans is an important person and role model in the life of Liesel and this act of kindness shows her that love has no boundaries and that she should respect and be kind to all types of people. This reinforces Hans character as a caring and loving person which causes the reader to become more emotionally connected with the character. I can relate to Hans gesture personally as when I was skiing at Cardrona a less able skier fell over and struggled to get back to his feet; everyone skied past and didn’t take notice of the boy. When I went past I helped him up, that simple gesture and act of kindness made both of our days better.
Another instance of love in the Book Thief is the bond between Max and Liesel. When Max comes into Liesel’s life he somewhat fills the gap in Liesel’s heart that was created when her brother passed away. The two connect through books, words, and helping each other understand and move on from the past which haunts them both. When Max becomes sick and does not wake up, Liesel continues to read to him at his bedside, as well as bringing him a total of thirteen presents each with different stories in the hope that she can tell him about them when he wakes up. After Hans Hubberman’s bread incident with the marching jew, Max realizes that the Nazi’s might come looking in the house; rather than being selfish and staying in the basement he decides to leave, “At just after 11 p.m. that same night, Max Vandenburg walked up Himmel Street with a suitcase full of food and warm clothes. German air was in his lungs. The yellow stars were on fire. When he made it to Frau Diller’s, he looked back one last time to number thirty-three.” He would rather see Liesel be safe than put her in danger. Just over a month after WW2 officially ended, Max returned to Himmel Street and visited Alex Steiner’s shop where Liesel was usually found, “He approached the counter. “Is there someone here by the name of Liesel Meminger?” “Yes, she’s in the back,” said Alex. He was hopeful, but he wanted to be sure. “May I ask who is calling on her?” Liesel came out. They hugged and cried and fell to the floor.” Over time in the book, their love and relationship became so strong that they considered each other family. As a reader I’m surprised that Liesel gravitated towards Max like she did, as at school and as well as the Nazi Youth groups, hatred for Jews would have been drilled into her; although she cares for Max and this became even more obvious when he became sick and during the air raid. Personally, I can relate to the love and relationship between Max and Liesel, but I have not had an experience so far in my life where I didn’t think I would ever see someone again.

Another aspect of the text that interested me was the Character of Rudy and his relationship with Liesel. Rudy was my favourite character in the book, his charisma, loyalty, caring soul, and persistence to get a kiss out of Liesel all drew me to him; I can also relate to his physical appearance as I have blonde hair and blue eyes like him. At school, he is a bright student but also outside of school he loves football and athletics; on top of this he befriends Liesel and they decide to join a group of older kids and steal things, eventually, they start to do this by themselves without the older kids. Rudy’s talents in and outside of the classroom are as much a curse as a blessing, the Nazis are scouting Germany for exceptional kids who perform academically and athletically for a special school which enhance the elite to become ultimate human beings. Rudy’s parents don’t want him to end up dead after the school, so for him not to go his father Alex was conscripted into the army. After Rudy’s father leaves for the army he continues to live a fun-filled life with Liesel which gets them into all kinds of mischief. Sadly his life is cut short at the young age of fourteen in a bombing in Molching which killed most of Himmel Street. The reader never really knows the truth about Rudy and Liesel’s relationship, we know Rudy was invested in Liesel in a romantic way from his classic line of “How about a kiss, Saumensch?” but we are unsure if Liesel felt this way for Rudy. Throughout the book, Rudy would do things to impress Liesel in the hope that a kiss from her would be the reward at the end one of these acts is when he rescues her book, “A book floated down the Amper River. A boy jumped in, caught up to it, and held it in his right hand. He grinned. He stood waist-deep in the icy, Decemberish water. “How about a kiss, Saumensch?” he said.” Rudy most likely did this as he wouldn’t want to see Liesel be upset since she was his best friend, but he also hoped he might get a reward for himself at the end. Unfortunately, Rudy never got the kiss he deserved; after he had died during the bombing Liesel found his dead body and planted a kiss on him. I like to imagine that as death collected Rudy’s soul, a smile would have crept across the young boys face truly knowing that the girl of his dreams actually loved him.

The Book Thief is a well-constructed book that is entertaining throughout and had me wanting to read more. The plot is interesting which kept me on the edge of my seat and I couldn’t wait to turn the page every time; the constant change of adventures and characters keeps the plot fresh and enjoyable. I would recommend this book to anyone over the age 15 as anyone younger would not be able to fully comprehend the book as a whole, and specific messages that Markus Zusak was trying to convey. Having knowledge of what happened in Nazi Germany prior and during the Second World War would also help the understanding of events and places that are mentioned.
Reading the book and writing this report, I had little to none bias. Growing up in a country that is part of the Commonwealth we learn that Hitler was truly evil, so before reading the book I had that preconceived idea. Even so, I don’t believe that this affected my judgement while reading the book, and my personal responses to certain aspects after finishing it.
To conclude, the Book Thief is an amazing book that I thoroughly enjoyed reading and believe that most people should read this book sometime in their life.

2.9 Reading Response Number 1

Sam Teal

Text Title: Buoyed by Rabada’s availability, South Africa eye series lead

Author: Tristan Lavalette

Text Type: Article: http://www.cricbuzz.com/cricket-news/101110/buoyed-by-kagiso-rabadas-availability-south-africa-eye-series-lead-south-africa-vs-australia-2018-cape-town

Date Finished:  2nd of April

Kaisgo Rabada is a budding star in the world of fast bowling, he has already played 28 Tests, 48 ODI’s, and 16 T20I’s and is only 22 years old. His passion for fast bowling and cricket is reminiscent of  Dennis Lillee and Jeff Thomson opening the bowling for Australia in the 1970’s and 80’s. But like these legendary quicks, Rabada, also has a fiery temper that has got him in trouble with the ICC. After South Africa beat Australia in Port Elizabeth with the help of Rabada’s man of the match performance where he took 11 wickets, the ICC suspended him for 2 tests for breaching the code of conduct. Rabada has successfully appealed his suspension and has now been cleared to play the rest of series.

I would recommend this text to any cricket fan especially someone who appreciates fast bowling and isn’t following Australia’s tour of South Africa. The reason I would recommend this text is that it clearly sums up what has happened to Kaisgo Rabada and his ongoing issues with the ICC code of conduct, along with what has already happened in the series and what we should expect to see in the following games. Tristan Lavalette has done a brilliant job of predicting what will happen in the next test at Newlands he not only states what the new ball will do but also backs this up with evidence and explanation on why it will happen, for example in this piece from the text he talks about Australia’s batting woes, “With the new ball expected to move notably, Australia’s susceptible batting order will once again be in the firing line in conditions they have long struggled in. No Australian batsman is averaging more than 40 in the series and no centuries have been struck to clearly illustrate their inability to kick on.” Lavalette has also included facts and milestones which many people may not know about, they are: Hashim Amla only needs 123 more runs to reach 9000 test runs making him the 3rd South African to do so,  Nathan Lyon is also just shy of a milestone needing 4 more poles(wickets) to reach 400 test wickets, and that Australia is the only team to beat South Africa in Cape Town after they returned to international cricket after there 21 year ban due to apartheid from 1948 – 1991.

This text connects to me on a personal level as I am also a bowler who is passionate about cricket but even more when I bowl. Imagine this, it’s 30 degrees in the middle of January and you have been putting in hard yakka for 20 overs and you finally take the scalp of your opponent’s opener. You would be pumped up and would want to celebrate, but the code of conduct in cricket limits how you can celebrate. In recent years the game has been controlled by the batters, so when a bowler can get an edge over there opponent they deserve to celebrate, and shouldn’t be punished for showing emotion or getting up in the batters grill. The ICC doesn’t see it this way though, so when Rabada bumped into Steve Smith in the second test after dismissing him they saw it as a breach of the code. This, added to his previous offensives which resulted in him being suspended. I view this as poor by the ICC as they tolerate sledging between teams but do not allow passion and emotion from a fast bowler. Personally, I am glad they have changed their decision on this but as Lavalette put it, “There has been much uproar, especially in Australia, over the contentious decision ensuring this soap opera of a series continues to be mired in controversy.”

Historically celebrations from quick bowlers were more in your face and it was okay to give them a sendoff after taking a wicket; cricketing legends like Bob Willis, Ian Botham, Andrew Symonds, and Merv Hughes used to do this all the time and no repercussions would come from it. As the years have gone on celebrations have become more subdue and PC; some would say they have gone soft. So when Kaisgo Rabada showed some intensity in his celebration there was a huge uproar within the cricket community, as we haven’t seen something like this in years. Personally, I don’t see the problem with this, and I believe that the ICC should be focusing on other parts in the game like match-fixing and cheating as they have missed this in the past and they have caused much larger issues socially and within the sport than a bowler bumping into, or celebrating in front of a batsmen.

Has the world become too PC? That is the question that I was confronted with after reading this article, and I answer that question with a resounding yes. Peoples emotions and thoughts are being subdued all over the world just because they don’t fit the perceived norm. This is a problem that isn’t just faced in sport but across social, corporate, and political fields. No one in these sectors wants to be seen to express their real opinions for fear of getting a negative reaction.

This article has similarities to an article written by Chris Yuscavage for Complex. Yuscavage’s article is on “what is and isn’t allowed under the NFL’s celebration rules”, like the ICC, the NFL is very particular and “petty” over how their athletes can celebrate after an achievement. Like many competitors in the NFL, Rabada has been penalised for how he has shown his excitement when accomplishing a milestone or goal. After reading each article I can see parallels between the two organizations and their strictness on celebratory acts.

It is important to note that this response does contain a biased opinion. I am a bowler myself, and as a New Zealand cricket supporter, I have an extreme dislike for the Australian cricket team. This is why I view Rabada’s suspension being reversed as a good thing, whereas if I was reading this from an Australian supporters perspective I would most likely think the opposite, and want him suspended.

Footnote:
As of writing this, three Australian players have been found guilty of ball tampering in the third test at Newlands. Cameron Bancroft was seen on the big screen rubbing sandpaper on the ball then trying to conceal it by putting it down his pants. Steve Smith and David Warner were uncovered as the culprits who made Cameron Bancroft tamper with the ball. Smith and Warner have both received a 12-month ban from cricket, and Bancroft a 9-month ban, as it is believed that because he was the youngest in the team, the leadership group made him do it.
As stated earlier this is where the ICC needs to focus their attention, their rules say that ball tampering only results in a one-match ban; the lengthy bans that the players received came from Cricket Australia. With the recent events, it emphasises how weak the ICC are with cheating and other major offences, but are so harsh on minor things like the way a player celebrates.

Exposure shared task: Sam, Madi, and Jacob

Personification: “merciless iced east winds that knife us”- The wind is so brutal it is as though it is another opposing soldier stabbing them with a bayonet. The harsh weather environments are another evil enemy to them. The cold could potentially be the real killer as the men wait the call from their leaders.

Listing: “war lasts, rain soaks, and clouds sag stormy”- Listing can often draw a mood out of the text. It could be an uncomfortable feeling or in this case a slow sad mood. The listing here represents dullness, sadness and pain. The men will all feel so alone out in the exposed open, looking into the storm the war seems to be forever ongoing and the harsh bomb struck environment is never ending.   

Simile:

  • “Like twitching agonies of men among its brambles”
  • “Like a dull rumour of some other war”

“Like twitching agonies of men among its brambles” – The anguish of the men is shown in the wind. The imagery that Owen creates is that of soldiers struggling in the bramble. The tough, prickly, and annoying plant, is trying to drain the men of their energy. This shows the reader the conditions of war; and like Brambles if they try escape they will got more tangled and intertwined with it to the point where it seems impossible to escape.   

Rhetorical question:
“What are we doing here?” The soldiers are wondering what they are still doing in this place. They don’t feel connected to the war they don’t feel like they are apart of it. “Is it that we are dying?” It could mean that they are losing hope and they feel like they are slowly dying.

Exposure Wilfred Owen

How is the idea of “exposure” – exposed to extreme weather conditions, is a recurring theme in the poem.

List all of the references to “exposure” that are included in the poem.

Explain what these references specifically tell you about the environment and conditions the men experience. How is the weather presented as an enemy?

 

References to the weather:

The title – “exposure”

“In the merciless iced east winds that knive us”

“Mad gusts tugging on the wire”

“We only know was lasts, rain soaks, and clouds sag stormy”

“Less deathly than the air that shudders black with snow”

“Pale flakes with fingering stealth come feeling for our faces”

Exposure – Wilfred Owen

Identify 5/6 examples of language techniques used in this poem. Explain why you think these examples (and techniques) were used.

What ideas, experiences, events and atmosphere do they convey?

  1.  Simile – “Watching, we hear the mad gusts tugging on the wire, Like twitching agonies of men among its brambles.

  2. Repetition – “But nothing happens”

  3. Personification – “In the merciless iced east winds that knive us”

  4. Metaphor – “All their eyes are ice”

  5. Metaphor – “Crusted dark-red jewels”

6.

Anthem for Doomed Youth

What has been included: What can you determine/understand about the writer of this text? What are his experiences beliefs and values? What does he want the reader to experience or understand?

What we can understand about the author is that he was a soldier, as the detail that has been included, but we can also assume that he is a poet as he has the literacy skills to put his experience into a poem. They’re many religious references in the poem, which leads us as the reader to think that he is religious.

What has been included: Consider the selection of words/vocabulary in this poem. Why have specific words been chosen? What do the words convey? How do the words affect our understanding of what is taking place?

In the poem Anthem for Doomed Youth, Wilfred Owen has included a wide range of Vocabulary and Words to emphasise certain parts of the poem. In the first line of the poem “What passing-bells for those who die as cattle?” I can feel Owens anger. The amount of soldiers who are dying in the war is being reiterated by the bells being tolled constantly. Owen feels like this is similar to cattle being sent to the slaughter house. This puts a vivid picture in the readers head of the comparisant between the two, but also the mourning families of the soldiers. This. creates a feeling of sadness and anger.

Many of the words that Owen has used in the text represent death and sadness. Passing bells, Drawing down of blinds, pall, pallor, candles, and bugles are examples of the vocabulary that Owen uses to set the scene in the poem.

What has been included: Consider the selection of language techniques in this poem. Why have specific language techniques been chosen? What do the techniques convey? How do the techniques affect our understanding of what is taking place?

Wilfred Owen has used countless language techniques throughout the poem for example: simile, personification, alliteration, repetition and many more. One that stood out to me was the use of personification in the line, “monstrous anger of the guns” Personification is when a human characteristic is given to a non human object. In this case, Owen has given the gun the feeling of anger; this may make the reader more able to understand what the is trying to convey. Others may interpret this line as meaning that the soldiers have the anger and it has been transferred  to the gun, but I believe in this case it is the other way. In a situiation where there is a major war, many lives would have been taken; and  in World War One gunfire was one of the main causes. So for many soldiers there friends lives would have been caught short because of guns, so when they pick up there gun anger might posses them because they know what the weapon will do. Almost like there holding a monster.

What has been included: Consider the contrasting vocabulary and images within the poem. How have positive and negative images been represented throughout the poem the language choice and images?

In the poem many of the words have religious backgrounds, as the reader we imagine peace and calmness. However, Owen contrasts this by using words that causes the readers images to swap from a biblical and religious place, to the middle of a war zone with guns firing everywhere. An example of this is in the first stanza where in one line Owen says “Only the stuttering rifles’ rapid rattle” then in the next he says “Can patter out their hasty orisons.”

Although there are many religious words and features which should create a positive image, there are none, The only image which sticks with the reader is is that of negative things. This is very ironic as war in England and Europe was glorified as an experience of a life time and something that you should be wanting to go to. Wilfred Owens own experiences must have been anything but enjoyable.

What is included: Dulce et Decorum Est

Images:

What Images are presented in the text?
In the poem Dulce et Decorum Est written by Wilfred Owen the images presented are powerful, but most importantly substantial and strong. The poem was written to show how the war was not glorious and noble, as many people thought it was. He wanted show how horrible war is, and its affects on people.

The line “bent double” immediately puts an image in my head that is not very pleasant. The image that is presented to me is of a soldier who has been plagued with sickness, but continues to battle; though during the fight it becomes overwhelming. He is forced into the position of “bent double”, and cannot continue.

In the second stanza of the poem, Owen has written the line “Fitting the clumsy helmets just in time”. The image that he his trying to establish is that of soldiers rushing through the trenches almost missing there helmets; but like in slow motion they reach back just in time to grab there valued protective gear before they leave the whole in the ground. As they reach the top of the trench they are still fitting there helmets, but with the rush of adrenaline they are finding it difficult.

“Behind the wagon that we flung him in”, is such a powerful line. I believe that Owen is trying to convey the image of an injured man in horrific mental and physical state who can’t continue. The state that he is in, is so bad that he can’t even walk and needs his comrades to lift him into a medical wagon. The image created by Owen is grim, but easily communicates his message that going to war is not nice.

The line in the poem that generates the most vivid image is, “white eyes writhing in his face”. The image that Owen has created is of a soldier in unimaginable pain; the pain is so bad that the colour has left eyes, and all that is left is the white squirming and twisting around. This line really hits Owens goal of trying to show that war is not glamorous and something to be proud of it. It is actually horrific and causes pain to many.

Language:
What specific vocabulary has been chosen to add the meaning of the text?

The use of Latin sets the time period, as Latin would’ve been taught widely throughout the schools

Language Techniques:
Oxymoron – “An ecstasy of fumbling”
The word ecstasy
Symbolism – “Smothering dreams”
Personification – “Haunting flares”

Ozymandis

I met a traveller from an antique land
Who said: Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
Stand in the desert. Near them on the sand,
Half sunk, a shatter’d visage lies, whose frown
And wrinkled lip and sneer of cold command
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
Which yet survive, stamp’d on these lifeless things,
The hand that mock’d them and the heart that fed.
And on the pedestal these words appear:
“My name is Ozymandias, king of kings:
Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!”
Nothing beside remains: round the decay
Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare,
The lone and level sands stretch far away.

Quote Weaving

Use a quotation in a sentence to express your own  ideas

“For a moment the boys were a closed circuit of sympathy with Piggy outside”

“The thing is – fear can’t hurt you any more than a dream”
Fear can’t hurt you – The thing you fear can – People act on fear – It’s all in your head

The boys try to tell themselves “fear can’t hurt” them but….

As the boys start to come to the conclusion that they aren’t getting off the island anytime soon