Death is a Synesthete
In The Book Thief Death is personified and described as a Synesthete. Synesthetes experience the world differently. A sound is not just heard; it might be perceived as a color. In the prologues first section “Death and Chocolate” when Death mentions that when you die the only thing he’ll hear “will be my own breathing and the ...view middle of the document...
During the next three sections of the prologue Death immerses himself in the colors; White, Black, and Red. At first glance these three hues may seem unrelated and almost randomly elected but we later find out some pretty serious sybolism behind this tiny palette of chroma.
White, of the most blinding kind. Death assures us that white is indeed a color before he describes the whole globe as “being dressed in snow” while the trees “wear blankets of ice”. White is often seen as representing puritiy and innocence; two attributes that are also often linked to childhood which is fitting, since Liesels brother had just died. While Death is collecting the young boy’s soul he wavers and notices a young Liesel in the very midst of her innocence and purity.
Black, the darkness before dawn. This time around, Death elucidates the scene of a freshly crashed plane