The Book Thief The Book Thief question


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Last Sentence of the Book
Viktoria Viktoria Jun 28, 2012 03:08AM
I just finished reading The Book Thief and I know it will stay with me for a long while because it was so amazing.
Before putting it completely away, I would like to hear people's opinion on the last sentence of the book, by the narrator:

"A Last Note from Your Narrator: I am haunted by humans".

What do you think about this?



Kylie (last edited Jun 28, 2012 01:25PM ) Jun 28, 2012 01:24PM   26 votes
I think the last sentence basically sums up the entire meaning of the book. Humans are capable of so much evil, the things we do to one another are horrifying. At the same time, there are humans who are incredible. They take enormous risks where they have a lot to lose and nothing to gain. Throughout the book more than just good vs. bad is shown. It also explores the imperfections in the "heroes" and creates sympathy for the "villains". Death is haunted by humans, by the good and the bad and all the ways the two overlap and blurr together. Humanity is complex and layered. It is not entirely understood, not even by humans themselves, but the will to keep going, learning, growing stays strong. The complexity of humanity astounds and confuses Death. It respects and is appalled by what it has seen humans do and the contradiction that is humanity haunts Death.

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Annie Sheridan I didn't know how to put my thoughts into words until I saw your comment.
Dec 22, 2013 03:10PM
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Mary Martina very nice:)
Jul 28, 2014 06:04AM

Humans are beautiful.
Humans are terrifying.

"I am haunted by Humans."
In all honesty, I am, too. We are capable of so much.


H99 (last edited Nov 11, 2012 07:56AM ) Nov 11, 2012 07:55AM   1 vote
Humans are haunted by those who have died, and Death is haunted by those who have yet to die.


Asia (last edited Jul 12, 2012 01:36PM ) Jul 12, 2012 01:35PM   1 vote
Ironically I was thinking of this sentence when seconds later I found this post. Anyways, first of all I fell in love with that last phrase, and then probably is just that like most already stated is how Death is haunted by what we do, and what - if we observed Death as in a solid thinker like in the novel - he doesn't instead. The research many people do of death, or haunted also by the fear of dying. The "irony" that many times people might want to die - like suicide - but survive and instead who wants to live, dies. Death must deal with all these human "requests" , life coincidences and ironies. The fact that Death, even though seems perfect to do what "he" does, instead had no choice.


I suppose I took it to mean that the human experience is something that can't be defeated by death - the fact that he is haunted by us and our experiences. The whole book is really about how much the human spirit can endure or overcome, so maybe the author was saying that this applies to death as well. I don't know, but it was a really good book :-)


I love that last line.


I thought it was beautiful, because it's true. Death is haunted by humans because he cannot even begin to understand why we do the majority of the things we do. He is aware that humans are complex, way too complex, and he also aware that he will never understand them completely, but Liesel's story helped him nonetheless.


I think that it means that Death can never get away from humans. He will aways be haunted by us like we are hunted by him. Also that he is always underestimating the human race.


Was anyone else reminded of the Death of Discworld? He (it?) keeps trying to act human and never getting it quite right.


I loved loved loved the ending!


I think it is because, his job and his life to take souls from their shell, if that was my job.
Would'n feel haunted, watching people mourn and cry their hearts out


That was a stunning end to a stunning book. I have recommended this book to so many people and I feel that in many ways it is a classic.


Perfect ending to a perfect book. That line made me gasp. I sat and stared into nothingness for about 10 minutes after reading that line. Powerful.


After everything that has happened everything he has witnessed, all done by humans. He says hes scene the most burtal murders. If i saw all that humans would be like monsters.


I am haunted by Death's last line & by Zusak's story. It started off a little confusing for me when I was trying to figure out who was narrating but once it became apparent it was none other than the Grim Reaper himself, the irony hit. From here on out, it's all semantics: ghosts haunt. Death deals with ghosts (or spirits or souls, depending on your religious bent). The fact that he admits to being haunted, not by ghosts but by humans, actually humanizes him a little more. Oh the terrible & beautiful things we are capable of. I also loved the irony in Death becoming a book thief himself in the end.


That's such an ironic statement because we so often feel haunted by death. Yet, here is this reality/being that we fear, and it turns out Death is disturbed by us! I wonder if this book is as much to tell us about eath as it is to tell us about life. You always get to know the narrator simply by the way he or she talks about the story's events. It seems like the author is, in a round about way, actually writing about Death and all of our misconceptions.


It was a great line -- a haunting line, but there was nothing haunting about the Gestapo or SS: they were human predators who needed to be put down. Nothing haunting about that. Period.


Cherish (last edited Jun 28, 2012 01:00PM ) Jun 28, 2012 12:59PM   0 votes
i think it means that by seeing all the deaths that he does some of them just stick out in his mind so he is constenly reminded of them and over time he wouldnt ever stop thinking about one death or another


I think of it as Death is haunted by all humans. He is haunted by our memories and feelings, but brings comfort to those who haunt humans, the spirits of those who have died.


I love the last line especially because the book is written in the perspective of death


whatever it means it is a great read, I have read it 3 times now and will no doubt read it again. Always makes me cry


it is pure irony. he is death, and he is the one being haunted.


J Jun 28, 2012 08:57PM   0 votes
Death is haunted by humans because we are a curiosity to him that he wishes to understand. Death is haunted by our endurance to live with him, through him, in spite of him, ---we are not overcome by Death!!!


loved it :)


i think since many of us are haunted by death( meaning we are probably all scared to die) that death is afraid to live because of what he sees us doing. espescially in the WW2 era where Hitler is doing all these terrible things to people. It is just another testemant to how terrible of a time that was for our world.


Death is haunted by humans because of their innate stupidity, infinite capacity to make mistakes and infinite capacity to make them right. Many of us have been stupid but we've learned to be wiser throughout time. We are selfish without question yet we are capable of selflessness. We are afraid of many things yet we gather courage. Like what Death said, "So much sorry. So much evil. Just add water." We're like that. We are capable of good things yet all the more with evil deeds. It's crazy.


Because Death is seriously haunted by humans. Srsly.

He has to take their souls and some beg for their lives to be taken.

You see.


For me that quote was a punch in the gut. Death was my favorite narrator in literature, I loved how while he was present in all events, he was not responsible for any deaths in the book, he just gathered the souls. But that one line. It wrenched the tears out of me.


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