Wednesday, May 12, 2010

The Word Shaker

The Word Shaker, written by Max Vanderburg, is a satirical summary of Hitler and Nazi Germany. Many elements throughout The Word Shaker represent Hitler's rise to power, the power of words, and the fight against Nazism.
The first one-and a half pages of The Word Shaker talks about Hitler and his rise to power through the use of only words. Hitler plants propaganda trees all throughout Germany to brainwash the people and gain much power.
"He watched them grow, until eventually, great forests of words had risen throughout Germany... It was a nation of farmed thoughts".
The previous quote shows Max's view on Nazi Germany. Max believed that Hitler had taken his thoughts and ingrained them into everyone in Germany, resulting in full control over the population. He compares Hitler's rise to power to a farm, where people have been created and farmed to follow him and his ideology.
In The Word Shaker, the tree that Liesel planted represents the friendship between her and Max, which even the Fuhrer cannot destroy, symbolizing that friendship always overpowers hatred. When the tree is finally downed, it does not entirely destroy Hitler's forest, but creates a path for others to follow and help destroy Hitler's propaganda of hatred and genocide.
In this way, the Word Shaker is not only a story of Hitler and Liesel, but also represents a new hope for Germany. It teaches that compassion and overcome hatred, and shows that words, if used effectively, can be extremely powerful.

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