The Book Theif

Connecting Modern Literature to Greek Mythology

Some things about The Book Theif...

The narrator of this book is the infamous ruler of the underworld, The Grim Reaper. The time period that the events in this book take place is during WWII, a very busy time for the Grim Reaper. Something peculiar happened on day when the Grim Reaper was collecting the soul of a young boy in a cattle car on a train. He stayed around and watched the funeral for the young boy along with the child's mother and older sister. As the grave digger's left the site, the young grave digger accidentally dropped a book . The older sister, Liesel Meminger, walked over and picked up the book. Liesel kept it, instead of returning it to the young grave digger. This is where the Book Theif's story began.

Some things about Orpheus and Eurydice...

In the tale of Orpheus and Eurydice, Eurydice is bitten by a snake and the venom kills her. She is taken to the underworld. When Orpheus discovers that she is dead, he decides to go on a journey to the underworld to bring her back. When he reached the underworld he asked Hades, The God of the Undereworld, if he could take Eurydice back. Hades and his wife said that Orpheus could take Eurydice back on one condition. Orpheus could not turn back and look at Eurydice until they were completely out of the underworld. On they went out of the underworld. Orpheus saw that they were almost out of the underworld and turned back to see if she was still behind. Eurydice was taken back. Orpheus carried on his days very depressed and he denied all other women. The women he inored began to go crazy because Orpheus denied them. They went so crazy that the brutally murdered him and tore him limb from limb. In the afterlife Orpheus and Eurydice were reunited.

The common factors between these stories...

These two stories both have the ruler of the underworld as a character, and he plays a very important role in both Orpheus and Liesel's lives. Liesel has her love interest taken away,and her family taken away twice, just like Orpheus has Eurydice taken away twice. Liesel is later reunited with a loved one like Orpheus and Eurydice were united again. Like Orpheus, Liesel goes on with her life filled with sadness except she later gets married and has children. But she never forgot what was missing.