The Book Thief

The Book Thief

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The Book Thief Part 7: Champagne and Accordions Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
It is summer in 1942 and Molching prepares itself for an inevitable bombing. Hans Hubermann suddenly has lots of work, as people need their blinds painted black to block their lights from enemy bombers. There isn't a lot of black paint around, but Hans makes do and he works for cheap. When people can't pay, he lets them trade cigarettes or a cookie. Liesel goes with him, and Hans tells stories and plays the accordion. Liesel is happy during those days, and wishes they would never end. She especially likes the mixing of the paint, which Hans does with a champagne bottle.
Ironically Liesel experiences her happiest times as the town prepares to be bombed, but she starts to realize that her contentment might be fleeting. Part of her growing maturity is being able to look past the emotions of the present – "everything's good" – to see that perhaps it isn't. She has her happiest times with Hans now, and he continues to prove himself as a positive example in Liesel's life.
Themes
Death Theme Icon
Words and Language Theme Icon
One day Hans asks a wealthy customer to pay for his painting services with champagne, as he wants Liesel to try it. Later she vows to never drink champagne again, as it could never taste as good as it did that day. It is the same with the accordion – sometimes Liesel wants to learn to play, but she knows she could never play like her Papa. This is the best period of Liesel's life, but Death warns that the bombers are coming.
Liesel recognizes that her emotions make the champagne taste better, and she can see now that it will not always be like this. Death foreshadows the bombing again, reminding the reader of the final, "red" scene of his outline in the prologue.
Themes
Death Theme Icon
Color, Beauty, and Ugliness Theme Icon