“The Prologue: Colour imagery”

White pages 7-9

In these pages white represents the colour of snow that was falling. In these pages white shows how cold it is on the train and outside as the whole area is covered by white snow. In this part of the text the white is creating and atmosphere of despair as Lieslel’s brother has died on the train. The white colour also represents the exposure that she feel outside when her brother is being buried in the snow.  “Tears were frozen to the book thief’s face” was a quote in the book which represents the cold that she feels, the sadness that she has from her brothers death and the white colour cause by the cold. The colours make me think of a cold winters day. When you are exposed to the cold and the feeling of being wrapped up in scarfs and beanies and warm jackets.

Black pages 10-12

Black the colour I believe represents darkness and death. In this part of the text black is representing the darkness and horror of death when it arrives to early. I understand this to mean that sometimes people die at a very young age before they should due to sad circumstances. In this story this happens to Liseils brother as he dies very young.   ” It was the darkest moment before dawn” This is one quote from the text which represents the colour black as the day is at its darkest. When all is gloomy and depressing which can be compared to the colour black. In this part of the text the atmosphere that is created is sadness and horror as death kills Liesel’s brother and some heroic people who died before their time. The events that occur in these two pages are sad and heartbreaking which is a good representation of what the colour black can be referred too. When everything is dark most things feel scarier which helps me to understand that black is almost an evil creepy colour.  The colour black makes me think of really dark nights when you are scared and alone. It makes me think of all the creepy bugs and nasty things that could be out there. It also makes me think of depression when people feel consumed by darkness with no way out. The depression can be caused by sadness. This means that sadness can also be represented by the colour of black.

Red 13-15

Red in these pages of the book represent the colour of blood caused by bombs and injury as well as the colour of the sky from explosion. Red in the pages 13-15 also show the bombings happening and the catastrophic events taking place like the planes fighting and the continuous fires from bombings on houses. This colour gives a feeling of anger between some and the feeling that there is an emergency. When I personally think of this colour I think of furiousness or anger, or even sometimes racing for example in this case racing to the underground basements do give these innocent families a slight chance of surviving as this is exactly what the scene is setting. “the sky was like soup, boiling and stirring.” I believe this references to Liesel’s emotions as she has just experienced something catastrophic, which is pathetic fallacy. Rage is going to impact Liesel throughout the text and it shows that she might experience a lot of this redness of rage around her throughout the book.  “The streets were ruptured veins,” Death describes the street as a vein itself burst and destroyed by the bombs, bleeding rubble.  

2) Red is part of the Nazi flag; this means that it hangs like a moving cloud of death over the war. The flag is represented in the 3 colours red, black and white. Through out the text we learn that white represents death and cold, black represents death, depression and horror, Red represents blood, anxiety and anger. Throughout the text Lesiel experiences all of these emotions due to her family members dying and the cold of winter as well as anxiety and anger from war. Her brother dies and she is left in the cold of white. She experiences a lot of blackness through depression from death, Horror through seeing many family members die and disappear. She experiences red through the anger of war and the blood that has been spilled due to Hitler. 


3)  Extended examples of the colour black throughout the text

In one area of the text Rudy paints himself black with charcoal. This occurs in pages 58-63. Rudy decides to paint himself black with charcoal because he has an idol , Jesse Owens the Olympic medal winner. Rudy wants to be like Jesse so he feels in order to go and run fast around the track he needs to paint himself the same colour. Rudy gets in extreme trouble with his father for doing this, he drags him home and scrubs him raw. The black in this area of the text represents peoples judgement. Rudy believes the colour black will cause him to be a fast runner and maybe go to the Olympics. Rudy’s father hated the colour black on Rudy as it made him unsafe as if the Nazi party were to catch him they would take him away. Black is representing the the attitude that people have to colour diversity and the hatred the Nazi Germans had for black people. ” You shouldn’t want to be black people or Jewish people. This showed me that black could cause someone to be taken away.  Black gave the idea that it was a colour that causes trouble and anger in people. The Nazis had a lot of anger towards mixed race people so therefore it caused Rudys dad to have anger at Rudy for wanting to be the colour black. This could be because he doesn’t want his son to be taken away due to black.


White: description of the Mayor’s wife, Frau Hermann

“Chalky hand and wrist…she reached out, cold-fingered….long, light eyelashes.” p.144 

The colour reference of white in this area of text shows us the whiteness within someone. The Mayors wife had chalky coloured wrists and the description of cold is used with her hands which gives us an example of white as well. When we think of white the image of snow and ice which is cold come into head so he hands must be really deathly cold. Her eye lashes are light which could be another description of white as it is often described as a light colour.


Throughout the text red is a colour related to the rise of naziisem in Germany and is often seen in scenes of immense grief and anger. When Liesel’s brother dies he heart was “slippery and hot” and gives the reader of a bright red heart beating faster and faster. Red could describe liesel’s burning anger towards Hitler, when Hans tells her that he could take them away and her. Red is also used by death to describe the day when liesel’s home and loved ones were torn from her, as the streets were like ruptured veins which would leak dark red blood across the road. It shows how devastated and destroyed Liesel’s life is as the bright hopeful fire in her heart has burnt out and the red is now spilt all around her, in the sky and in the ground beneath her feet. This could also reflect the blood of Germany that day as they know they have lost to the bombs of the allies. The colour red also quite obviously appears when blood is shed, at the end of the book after liesel’s town was bombed, blood of her loved ones flooded the street, evidently death saw boiling thick red skies everywhere 

“You see, people may tell you that Nazi Germany was built on anti-Semitism, a somewhat over-zealous leader and a nation of hate-fed bigots, but it would all have come to nothing had the Germans not loved one particular activity – to burn. The Germans loved to burn things. Shops, synagogues, Reichstags, houses, personal items, slain people and, of course books.” p. 90 

This gives us the imagery of red due to the burning. This gives the impression of anger as burning red can be associated with torches and riots when things are lit of fire due to anger. The burning is due to the hatred towards the Jews and so they burn there shops and belongings which represents the colour red.

Respond now!