All the Bright Places

All the Bright Places

by

Jennifer Niven

Teachers and parents! Struggling with distance learning? Our Teacher Edition on All the Bright Places can help.
Eleanor’s Glasses Symbol Icon

Eleanor’s glasses symbolize Violet’s grief for her sister. After Eleanor died in a car accident about nine months before the novel begins, Violet began wearing Eleanor’s glasses in the hope that they’d help her connect with Eleanor. But in practice, wearing Eleanor’s glasses means that Violet goes about her day unable to properly see, since she and Eleanor have different glasses prescriptions. Indeed, Violet even notes that the world swims and warps when she puts Eleanor’s glasses on—showing how her desire to stay connected to Eleanor is actually detrimental to Violet’s health and healing. In other words, Violet is so caught up in mourning Eleanor’s death that she struggles to see and connect with the world around her.

Thus, it’s significant when Violet eventually takes off Eleanor’s glasses and leaves them in Eleanor’s room. At this point, a few weeks after Violet and Finch start working on their geography project, Violet has finally begun to heal and is in the process of falling in love with Finch. Getting out with Finch has shown her that there are still things worth living for; she doesn’t need to focus on Eleanor’s memory and ignore everything else. When Violet notes that she can almost hear Eleanor laughing as she puts the glasses down and tells Eleanor that the glasses looked better on Eleanor anyway, it suggests that Violet is aware that Eleanor would’ve wanted her to move on. As Violet heals, she becomes more willing to accept that it’s better to honor Eleanor’s memory by living, not by trying to turn herself into Eleanor.

Eleanor’s Glasses Quotes in All the Bright Places

The All the Bright Places quotes below all refer to the symbol of Eleanor’s Glasses. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Mental Health, Stigma, and Suicide Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Ember edition of All the Bright Places published in 2016.
2. Violet: 154 days till graduation Quotes

I have a headache. Probably from the glasses. Eleanor’s eyes were worse than mine. I take the glasses off and set them on the desk. They were stylish on her. They’re ugly on me. Especially with the bangs. But maybe, if I wear the glasses long enough, I can be like her. I can see what she saw. I can be both of us at once so no one will have to miss her, most of all me.

Related Characters: Violet Markey (speaker), Eleanor Markey
Related Symbols: Eleanor’s Glasses
Page Number: 23-24
Explanation and Analysis:
26. Violet: 133 days to go Quotes

I set her glasses down on her dresser. “Thanks for the loan,” I say. “But they make my head hurt. And they’re ugly.” I can almost hear her laughing.

Related Characters: Violet Markey (speaker), Eleanor Markey
Related Symbols: Eleanor’s Glasses
Page Number: 191
Explanation and Analysis:
Get the entire All the Bright Places LitChart as a printable PDF.
All the Bright Places PDF

Eleanor’s Glasses Symbol Timeline in All the Bright Places

The timeline below shows where the symbol Eleanor’s Glasses appears in All the Bright Places. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
1. Finch: I am awake again. Day 6.
Mental Health, Stigma, and Suicide Theme Icon
Community, Support, and Trust Theme Icon
Individuality and Identity Theme Icon
...tells her not to look down. When she looks at him, he notices her chunky glasses. As she wobbles, Finch tells her that from up here, the town looks prettier. The... (full context)
Mental Health, Stigma, and Suicide Theme Icon
Community, Support, and Trust Theme Icon
Grief, Trauma, Purpose, and Survivorship Theme Icon
...People applaud for Violet, “the hero.” Finch notices how beautiful Violet is, even with the glasses. As Violet starts to say that she didn’t climb up here to kill herself, Finch... (full context)
2. Violet: 154 days till graduation
Mental Health, Stigma, and Suicide Theme Icon
Individuality and Identity Theme Icon
Grief, Trauma, Purpose, and Survivorship Theme Icon
...Circumstances.” She ignores Mrs. Mahone and focuses on her headache. It’s probably from wearing Eleanor’s glasses, but Violet hopes that if she wears the glasses, she’ll become like Eleanor and won’t... (full context)
3. Finch: Day 6 (still) of being awake
Mental Health, Stigma, and Suicide Theme Icon
Grief, Trauma, Purpose, and Survivorship Theme Icon
...scrolls through her pictures and finds one of her with Eleanor. Finch realizes that the glasses Violet was wearing today were Eleanor’s. Suddenly, Violet messages Finch, accusing him of “ambushing” her.... (full context)
5. Violet: 153 days till graduation
Community, Support, and Trust Theme Icon
Language, Meaning, and Control Theme Icon
Grief, Trauma, Purpose, and Survivorship Theme Icon
...herself bangs), and asks if Violet could wear one of Eleanor’s sweaters instead of her glasses. Ignoring this, Violet says she’s going to leave because she’s not feeling well. Suze asks... (full context)
9. Violet: 151 days till graduation
Individuality and Identity Theme Icon
...“gossip rag.” It’s about how Violet saved Finch, and the picture of Violet in Eleanor’s glasses looks “like a makeover ‘before.’” Violet watches Jordan Gripenwaldt, the editor of the school paper,... (full context)
11. Violet: 151 days till graduation
Individuality and Identity Theme Icon
...knows what to do with a girl—and suddenly, Violet feels shy. She puts on Eleanor’s glasses. Finch says he wanted to do this project with Violet because she smiled a genuine... (full context)
24. Violet: 135, 134, 133 days to go
Mental Health, Stigma, and Suicide Theme Icon
Community, Support, and Trust Theme Icon
...asks about Finch. Charlie says that this is just what Finch does. Brenda compliments Violet’s glasses, and Violet says that they were Eleanor’s. Finch is at school on Friday morning, but... (full context)
26. Violet: 133 days to go
Individuality and Identity Theme Icon
Grief, Trauma, Purpose, and Survivorship Theme Icon
...calendar into her closet and slips down the hall to Eleanor’s room. Violet sets Eleanor’s glasses on the desk and thanks Eleanor for the loan—but she says the glasses are ugly... (full context)
27. Violet: Saturday
Individuality and Identity Theme Icon
Grief, Trauma, Purpose, and Survivorship Theme Icon
...Finch is eating breakfast with Violet’s dad. He tells Violet she looks better without the glasses and then explains that he came to talk to Violet’s parents about skipping school yesterday.... (full context)