All the Light We Cannot See

All the Light We Cannot See

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All the Light We Cannot See One (1934): Exodus Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
Marie-Laure and Marie-Laure’s father walk through Paris, trying to find a way out of the city before the Germans invade it. They are only two members of a huge procession of Parisians, all trying to escape. Marie-Laure stays close to her father, frantically wondering if they’ll be able to survive. As the morning turns into night, they leave Paris, and walk into the mountains. Marie-Laure’s father explains that his boss at the museum has given him the address for a friend in a faraway French town. He assures Marie-Laure that they’ll be sleeping in comfortable beds tomorrow night.
As the first part of the book draws to a close, it’s worth thinking about everything we’ve learned about the characters. Marie-Laure and her father have an undeniably close relationship, but we’re not sure how it’ll be affected by the war. For the time being, however, Marie-Laure’s father continues to reassure her that everything will be fine—an obvious lie that we can see through, even if Marie-Laure can’t (or refuses to).
Themes
World War II, the Nazis, and the French Resistance Theme Icon
Interconnectedness and Separation Theme Icon
Family Theme Icon
That night, Marie-Laure and Marie-Laure’s father sleep outside in the woods. When Marie-Laure falls asleep, her father takes out a small object he’s taken from the museum: seemingly a diamond. The director of the museum has arranged for a “decoy” diamond to be placed in the museum, while the real diamond is taken to another location. There are also other decoy diamonds being taken to other French cities. Marie-Laure’s father wonders if he’s been trusted with the real diamond, or if his is only one of the decoys.
The plot thickens—in addition to his high-minded meditations on entropy, ways of seeing, and human connection, Doerr includes a plot based around a precious diamond—something more commonly found in an adventure novel than a Pulitzer Prize-winner. But this is the delight of the book—it’s complex, subtle, and long, but uses elements of the mystery and the thriller along the way.
Themes
Fate, Duty, and Free Will Theme Icon