In the text, the book thief Colour imagery are used symbolically in a physical and spiritual wy which really shows the deeper meaning to the story. The author really captured the reader by having the books and colours as such a key part of the book. He used the different colours to represent so much more than the colour he uses black to represent the idea of diversity and the idea of a jew hiding in the dark. He uses white to represent the idea of being cold. He also uses red to show the idea of the Nazi flag. He uses the books to show the idea of death and to show the idea of someone standing over you. These mean so much more then you may initially think but the deeper you go the more you will understand.
Black colour symbolism is used to show the idea of diversity. Diversity is shown when Rudy a ten-year-old German boy who grew up in the era where he is ruled under the authority of Adolf Hitler. One day he decided to cover himself in black charcoal and run around the field pretending to be Jesse Owens. The lines that tell the reader this are “He smeared the charcoal on, nice and thick till he was covered in black. Even his hair received a once-over.” By Rudy doing this it created controversy when his father found Rudy doing this. His father was astonished to see that his son was doing this before his eyes because it was considered not be ‘normal’. But Rudy the Innocent 10-year old that he was he didn’t let Owens race define him but Owens ability run as he was the fastest man alive. So he believes in order to be like Jesse Owens he needs to cover himself in charcoal. This shows diversity because Rudy doesn’t believe he is doing anything wrong because he doesn’t see Jesse Owens as different but an equal. Which really shows how much the world has changed since Hitler was around.
The colour black is also used to show the idea of hiding in the dark. This is shown when Max is hiding in the Humbemanns basement from the Nazis so they wouldn’t take him away as he was a Jew. The lines that tell the reader are “A small black room, in it sits a jew. He is scum. He is starving. He is afraid. Please try not to look away.” These lines tell the reader what it is really like for max hiding in the small black room hiding from the outside world not being able to move no more than around the room and given whatever little food Rosa could give to him as well as feeding her family. The black to me represents the gloomy feel to the room the darkness as they could not turn a light on cause then people will know someone is hiding out in there. The black also makes me think about how he is hiding out and must have this constant feeling of someone finding him and the black feeling is the feeling of darkness not knowing what will happen to him or the Huberman’s if they find him. The colour black represents such a gloomy depressing feeling. Being stuck in the basement knowing that you could be taken at any minute must have been torture on his mind. Let alone the room making him feel so cold and miserable and lonely knowing what might happen if they find him.
White colour symbolism is used to show the idea of being cold. This is shown when Rudy jumps into the freezing river to get Liesel’s book that had been chucked in there. The lines that tell the reader this are “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.” This gives the reader the idea of how cold the water was by referring it to “Decemberish water.” Which shows it is referring to winter water in the northern hemisphere around December which shows how cold it would have been. The colour white to me also represent loyalty. This appears when Rudy is willing to jump into a freezing cold river and risk his health for Liesel’s special book. He didn’t take long for him to jump into the icy cold river to collect Liesel’s book this showed real loyalty toward Liesel.
Red colour symbolism is used to show the idea of the Nazi flag. The flag appears throughout the book but not always in a physical sense. The flag in a sense carries a burden from all the blood and tear it represents. The lines that tell the reader are “They’ll come for us, Mam warned her husband. They’ll come and take us away. They. We have to find it.” This shows how much the red flag represents it represents so much more than just flag but also blood, power, and the danger it carries with it. These represent the burden of blood that it holds when it’s in favour of all the thousands of innocent people who died just because Hitler had so much power. Power also represents the idea of red because of all the power the flag holds. The flag is a symbolism of Hitler in the sense of his power that reflects onto the flag. To show that what he believes is right and the blood he has shed is for his people. For this flag to say so much it shows so much red like danger which shows the reader idea of danger and fears that the Jews had for the flag and all that it represents and how the red also represents the idea of having a target on the back knowing that with every move it could be your last. Just like Max, he would have been so scared knowing the power that flag could have and the target he had on his back. The colour red in the flag represents a lot more than just the physical sense the power and story it had behind it.