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Seth CartwrightPerspectives in Literature 2213-02BrileyFebruary 1, 2014The Importance of WordsOne cannot say words are not important, as we use them every day. Although the blind, deaf and mute may not agree, everyone else should. Words are how we communicate and express ourselves;they are how we persuade and how we manipulate; behind the simplicity of a word, comes deep emotion and the meaning of a message we are trying to convey. In The Book Thief by Markus Zusak, he conveys the importance of words through description and emotion in his characters.I’ve read many books in my life up to this point and The Book Thief seems for some reason just so much more intricate and delicate with its words. Concerning the importance of words I think Zusak really makes this book out to emphasize really how important words are. I’ve thought about the importance of words in my life and have come to realize just how powerful they can be, but for other people who haven’t thought about the power of words, this book is great. There are two great ways Zusak uses this book to show his audience the importance of words. One: he makes a character named Liesel who doesn’t have anything but words. Two: he sets the book in the Holocaust. I can feel Zusak putting himself into Liesel’s character because of how much he wants to convey what words have done in his own life, and he really does a good job. Zusak obviously has a special talentfor using words because he writes the book magnificently using very unique descriptions of the objects and settings in the book. Through Liesel he shows that even if you have nothing, you can still use your voice to make a huge impact on other people. In my life I have experienced this kind of playing with words because of the inner city I have been around and the hometown I grew up in. In my hometownand through the situations I’ve been in, especially with homeless people and those who are less fortunate, I’ve seen words used very carefully and strategically to manipulate the emotions and actions of others, mainly as a form of survival. In the inner city where there is gang violence and a shortage in friendliness, there’s no other way to survive than to steal and manipulate in order to get food, clothes, and other necessities to life. In this environment, what can there be but the use of words? Learning to harness speech in a tough situation may be the only way a person might survive through the night.One of the biggest wars in the history of the world, World War Two, is the greatest example of the manipulation of words. The Holocaust shows us very plainly how a man with a burning passion to change the world to what he wants it to be, does so very brilliantly using solely the power of words. It is easy to see in The Book Thief how Hitler has such a big role as his words carry the lives of so many people. If you don’t say “I’m part of the party” or “Hail Hitler” correctly, then you are subject to be killed. Even a simple lie may save your life as you live in Nazi Germany during the Holocaust. That is the power of words during the Holocaust—life or death.Words are what politicians use to gain votes, what the Bible uses to tell the greatest story in the history of the world, what we use to tell each other “I love you” and overall, words are truly beautiful. How else would Shakespeare have influenced romance? How could Henry David Thoreau have told us what true solitude and peace feels like? These are the hero’s that have inspired us for centuries and will continue to do so, as long as their words survive. The only question I ask myself now is this: How will my words survive and impact


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OCC ENGL 2213 - The Importance of Words

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