The Book Thief

The Book Thief


Markus Zusak

Teachers and parents! Our Teacher Edition on The Book Thief makes teaching easy.

The Book Thief: Prologue: The Eclipse Summary & Analysis

Death associates the next scene with the color black. It is night, and there is a crashed plane with a pilot inside. A boy appears with a tool box, followed by the book thief. The boy pulls out a teddy bear and places it next to the pilot's body. Death takes the pilot's soul and then a crowd starts to gather around the smoking plane. A shadow seems to pass over like an eclipse. Death explains that this sometimes happens when a human dies, and that he has seen millions of eclipses.
More foreshadowing, but no explanation of who the characters are or how the story arrived at such a strange scene. The reader then has this to look forward to, and another moment around which Death will structure the story. Everything feels inevitable, like death itself.
Death Theme Icon
Color, Beauty, and Ugliness Theme Icon