talking about their Jewish neighbor, “the Schwartzenberger crone”, who will be “gone by year’s end”. Then Frederick gets severely injured because he is different.
This overshadows what will happen in the war. Lastly, the theme of war appears. War takes away choice; it takes away freedom. Werner realizes that the field tests that he does with Hauptmann is actually very cruel. He is realizes that he is taught to detect rebels to kill them. Werner finds this wrong and is troubled by the thought of how cruel the institute has made him, however he cannot change this, he has no power. He feels trapped, he is stuck in this system to support what he thinks is wrong; if he continues to work under Hauptmann, he has to kill other, if he disobeys he will be punished like Frederick, if he leaves he will work in the mines and be sent to war. His life is controlled, no matter what he thinks.
Anthony Doerr highlights this theme using the character Fredrick. Werner and Fredrick have a conversation, Fredrick says that there is no such thing as free will, he talks about how his life is all planned out by his parents and how he has no say in it. The author compares Werner’s life and Marie-Laure’s to show the different people during war. Marie-Laure and Madame Manec are trying to protest, they are doing something about the German occupation. Madame Manec embodies the idea of seizing opportunities; while it is risky, it is worthwhile. War also shows how people react to fear. Etienne’s fear leads him to passively support the German system.
He hinders the resistance effort because of his fear. Chapter 6 Protagonist/s: Marie-Laure LeBlanc/ Werner Pfennig Antagonist/s: Germans Time: 8th August 1944 Summary: Marie-Laure recognizes the sound of the limp of the stranger. She met Von Rumpel when he follows her to the grotto. She hides in the hidden attic. Von Rumpel does not see the secret door, where Marie-Laure is hiding. Werner is still stuck beneath the rubble of the Hotel of Bees. Bernd the engineer dies. Werner finally fixes the radio, but he is only able to hear statics.
He scans for frequencies that are broadcasting. Theme: Firstly, there is a theme of regret and betrayal. Before Bernd dies he tells a story of how he abandoned his father on his last visit. This reminds Werner about how he felt as if he had betrayed his sister Jutta, by shutting her out of his life, and rarely even writing to her. This is a very moving part of the story. It is very dark.
The readers relate to the characters easily. This chapter is also very ironic. Both Werner and Marie-Laure are trapped with radios. The radios simultaneously give a sense of isolation and connection. Chapter 7 Protagonist/s: Marie-Laure LeBlanc/ Werner Pfennig Antagonist/s: Germans Setting : Berlin, Germany/ Saint-Malo, France / Vienne, Austria Time: August 1942 Summary: The corporal of Werner’s new unit, nicknamed “Neumann Two” takes Werner to Russia. He sees a truck full of dead corpse. After arriving, he learns that Volkheimer is a part of his new unit.
They travel in a truck named the Opel attempting to find forbidden radio broadcasts, so they can kill rebels. Werner becomes ill. The unit goes to Vienna, they kill a young girl and her mother because they mistook the clotheslines as radio antennas. Inspired by Madame Manec, Etienne cuts a false door in the back of the floor wardrobe so he could access his radio transmitter in the attic. Etienne and Marie-Laure put Madame Manec’s plan into action: Marie-Laure buys loaf that has a slip of paper with a series of numbers on it, then Etienne reads it into his transmitter. They repeats this, Etienne even riskily broadcasts music occasionally. They begin to broadcast messages from people in the community trying to reach other another.
Von Rumpel finds the second and third replica of the Sea of Flames. He goes to Marie-Laure’s house in Paris, and finds the house model, but finds out it is hallow and crushes it. French resistance fighters blew up a bridge using the information given by Etienne’s radio broadcasts. The German commander requests Werner’s unit to locate and destroy the rebels in Saint-Malo. Theme: This chapter is still in trials.
Anthony Doerr uses this chapter to highlight the theme of death. Death impacts Marie-Laure and Werner differently. On Marie-Laure side, the author shows how meaningful death can be. Madame Manec’s death inspired Etienne. It shows how much death can change a person. While Werner passes a truck stacked with dead corpses, showing just how inhumane war makes people. They are all stacked on top of each other, as if each dead soldier was just like garbage. Furthermore, Werner kills innocent people because of his mistake.
He is troubled deeply; he finds his own perspective towards all of life tainted by the ways he has hurt other. Readers feel horrified in this chapter; the author purposely described this chapter more graphically to make them feel uncomfortable and realize how senseless the killing of the war is. Chapter 8 Protagonist/s: Marie-Laure LeBlanc/ Werner Pfennig Antagonist/s: Germans Time: 9th August 1944 Summary: Allied artillery begins shelling Saint-Malo again. Von Rumpel becomes delirious from his illness and attempts to search the house once again. Marie-Laure gets out of the attic for water, and found a Braille copy of a book. She starts to broadcast herself reading, hoping that someone, maybe Etienne will hear her. Werner continues to scan the radio.
Regretfully, he and Volkheimer discuss how eager they once were to leave their homes, only to be disappointed. Werner suddenly hears Marie-Laure’s voice in the radio. She paused, “he is here. He is right below me” she whispers and the connection and lost again.
Werner feels helpless, he wants to rescue her but can’t. Theme: The theme in this chapter is hope. Both characters feel hopeful that they will be found. After fixing the radio, they finally hear someone. This brings hope. Marie-Laure reads her book because of hope. Readers find this a very peaceful chapter even thought the characters are in chaos. It is also very exciting since this is the first the two protagonists connect.
Chapter 9 Protagonist/s: Marie-Laure LeBlanc/ Werner Pfennig Antagonist/s: Germans Time: May 1944 Setting: Saint-Malo, France Summary: Werner and team continue to try to locate Etienne’s radio broadcast. Werner recognized the voice immediately. It was the same French Professor he had grown up with. He does not tell that he found the broadcaster. Alone, he went searching for the house and watches Marie-Laure leave.
Von Rumpel cannot live much longer. He is told that Daniel LeBlanc was arrested because of Levitte, so he visits him. He is given the LeBlancs address. Madame Ruelle informs Marie-Laure that soldiers are invading France. Marie-Laure visits the grotto where she meets Von Rumpel. As time passes, Etienne realizes that Marie-Laure was gone and becomes anxious.
For the first time in years, he goes outside. Eventually, Madame Ruelle and Etienne find her. Marie-Laure starts to suspect that the model carries the Sea of Flames after Von Rumpel questioned about it. Etienne is arrested after he sets off after curfew because he was trying to locate the German anti-aircrafts guns and broadcasts. Theme: This part of the story is “approach”, since the readers know that Werner will be stuck under the cellar of the Hotel of Bees from the previous chapters, which leads to the crisis.
Chapter 10 Protagonists: Marie-Laure LeBlanc/ Werner Phennig Antagonists: Germans Time: 12 August 1944 Setting: Saint-Malo, France Summary: Marie-Laure broadcasts Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea (braille version), while Werner and Volkheimer listen through the radio. Marie-Laure then plays Etienne’s music loudly, hoping that she will be found. The music surges through the radio, creating hope for Werner and Volkheimer again. They rearrange the rubble around them, creating a wall, and throw a grenade. Von Rumpel heard the music, follows it to the attic but then hears someone enter the house. This causes his to fall and accidentally set the curtains on fire using a candle. Werner kills von Rumpe, saving Marie-Laure. Werner and Marie-Laure evacuate together, as they leave Marie-Laure places the Sea of Flames into the ocean water, in the grotto to break its curse.
Once Werner knew that Marie-Laure was safe, he left her. Marie-Laure gives him the key to the grotto as a memory. Marie-Laure reunites with Etienne. The Allies arrest Werner. One night, he accidentally walks into a minefield, and dies, Theme: This chapter shows the strength of music. As both Marie-Laure and Werner think they are going to die. Music calms them.
They both take comfort in the beautiful complexity of the world. This part of the story is the resolution, it covers “treasure” and “result”, as the Sea of Flames is returned to the ocean. It is also the ending for Werner, as he dies in the minefields. Chapter 11 Protagonists: Marie-Laure LeBlanc/ Werner Phennig Antagonists: Germans Time: 1945 Setting: Paris, France/ Berlin, Germany Summary: Frau Elena, Jutta and three other girls from the orphanage are sent to a factory in Berlin. Jutta knows that Werner is dead.
The war is ending, and the Russians are expected to invade the city. Most women knows to expect Russian brutality; they try to look less attractive, some even drown their daughters. When the Russian soldiers arrive, Frau Elena and the girls get raped. Etienne and Marie-Laure move to Paris and live in the same apartment from Marie-Laure’s childhood. They continue their search for Daniel LeBlanc. Marie-Laure decides to attend school to deal with her grief.
Theme: This is the “return”, “new life”, “resolution” and “status quo” of this story. Marie-Laure returns back home, she starts a new life with her great-uncle, the Sea of Flames is back in the sea, and she ends where the story started, back in Paris. This chapter reminds the readers that there are no antagonists in this book.
During war, the “good guys” and the “bad guys” are only a matter of perspective. For Jutta the Russian are the bad, and for Marie-Laure the Germans are the bad. Jutta recalls that while being sexually assaulted, the man was mourning for the death of the people he cared about. The author does not wholly blame any country or person for the war, this suggests Anthony Doerr wanted to express that each individual is capable of both good and bad.
There is a theme of war in this chapter. Using the horror readers felt during this chapter to emphasize how terrible and desperate war makes people. Chapter 12 Protagonists: Marie-Laure LeBlanc/ Werner Phennig Antagonists: Germans Time: 1974 Setting: Paris, France/ Saint-Malo, France Summary: In 1974, all of Werner’s belongings including the wooden model were sent to Volkheimer from an organization. He finds Jutta, and delivers the items to her. Jutta travels to Saint-Malo with her son Max, in the memory of Werner. A local man recognized the model; he provides them the address of the girl who used to live in the house.
Jutta sets off to Paris. Marie-Laure is now works in the same museum her father did. Jutta tells Marie-Laure that Werner had died in the war. Jutta gives the model to Marie-Laure; she realized that Werner had taken the model after they parted ways. She opens it and finds the key to the grotto gate. Theme: This is the ending of the story. Jutta has a new life, with her son.
She returns the model, which is the resolution. Chapter 13 Protagonists: Marie-Laure LeBlanc/ Werner Phennig Antagonists: Germans Time: 1974 Setting: Paris, France/ Saint-Malo, France Summary: Marie-Laure is now an old woman. Her grandson, Michel plays a game in which he “dies”, he reassure her that he can always start again. Michel is about to turn 12, Marie-Laure told him about Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea, the novel she wanted most as her birthday present when she was 12. Her grandson walks her home. She stands outside her house, listening to the sounds of the world, wondering whether the souls of her loved ones are still there. Theme: This chapter is still the status quo for Marie-Laure.
The readers feel relieved that she is doing well. Even though she is back to her original world before the war, something’s have changed permanently. Work Cited Gregory Coles CliffsNotes on All the Light We Cannot See. 15 Jan 2018 .