The Power of Words in Literature and Culture
The importance of words is a theme seen hundreds of times throughout literature. During times of censorship, the words still found a way to break through. During war, the words still helped soothe the readers. Words can help change the way people live their lives and how they think about their lives and how they think about themselves. We are going to take a look at two works of literature and a movie and compare and contrast them. They are explore the importance of words, even though they are set in different times and places.
The Book Thief is about a little girl names Liesel. She is growing up during wartime Germany. She is subjected to Hitler’s words, and is required to live by his words for her own safety. But she rebels with her family in more than one way. Liesel and her family take in a young Jewish man named Max. This young man teaches them about how there are good effects that words can have on the world, but there is also negative ones. He talks about how Hitler’s words had been ruining lives and how one day they could ruin his life as well.
One of the quotes from The Book Thief is, "There were the erased pages of Mein Kampf, gagging, suffocating under the paint as they turned.”(Zusak, 237) I believe that this is a very deep statement. Mein Kampf translates to “My Struggle” in English. This was the book that Hitler had written during his time in prison. It was basically a rule that every German had to have this book. Yet Max takes this book and whites out all of the pages. He writes his own story in there. He tells Liesel the story about how Hitler had been the cause of his own struggle. At first this was a very confusing concept to Liesel, because she was hearing from everyone else that Hitler was their perfect leader, but Max, a person who was like a part of her own family, was telling her how he was really not a good person at all.
Fahrenheit 451 is a book by Ray Bradbury. It was written in the 1960’s right after the television had come out. It is a dystopian novel about what Bradbury had thought would happen if the television had continued to take over how it had been. The novel is set in a future where people do not talk to each other. Peoples TV’s were their “family.” Students killed people just for the fun of it and had to repercussions. In the novel they lived in a time of censorship so huge that they were unable to own any books at all. Instead of fighting to put out fires, firemen actually set fires to the houses with books. Montag could not figure out what could possibly be in a book to cause a person to choose to burn with the books instead of going to jail. This is shown when Montag sa...