All the Bright Places

All the Bright Places

by

Jennifer Niven

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Themes and Colors
Mental Health, Stigma, and Suicide Theme Icon
Community, Support, and Trust Theme Icon
Individuality and Identity Theme Icon
Language, Meaning, and Control Theme Icon
Grief, Trauma, Purpose, and Survivorship Theme Icon
LitCharts assigns a color and icon to each theme in All the Bright Places, which you can use to track the themes throughout the work.

Mental Health, Stigma, and Suicide

All the Bright Places follows the romance of 17-year-olds Finch and Violet, who meet at the top of their school’s belltower where they both plan to commit suicide. Instead of jumping, though, they talk each other off the ledge and soon develop a friendship that leads to a romantic relationship. However, Finch and Violet’s struggles with mental health—and the knowledge that they were both on the brink of taking their own lives—loom large over…

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Community, Support, and Trust

As Finch struggles with an undiagnosed mental illness, he behaves erratically: disappearing for long periods of time, skipping school, and acting out violently. Yet as Violet gets to know Finch and talks to others about him, she’s disturbed to realize that no one else seems as concerned about Finch as she is. Finch’s family and community’s failure to take his odd behavior seriously (or indeed, in the case of his family, to notice that he’s…

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Individuality and Identity

Throughout the novel, 17-year-old Finch is caught up in figuring out who he is. He changes his identity every few weeks, cycling through “80s Finch,” “Badass Finch,” and finally “Dirtbag Finch.” Finch’s undiagnosed mental illness makes him unsure of which aspects of his identity are real—but his quest to figure out who he is nevertheless reflects a struggle that most teenagers go through. Similarly, as Violet processes her grief for her sister Eleanor’s death…

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Language, Meaning, and Control

Both Violet and Finch love language and literature. Prior to her sister Eleanor’s death, Violet wrote content for a web magazine she created with Eleanor, and she planned to attend NYU’s creative writing program. Finch, meanwhile, is a singer-songwriter who “collects” words as part of his creative process. As he and Violet get to know each other, they explore how their changing relationships to language and literature help them feel more in control of…

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Grief, Trauma, Purpose, and Survivorship

Grief and trauma play a central role in All the Bright Places: when readers meet Violet, she’s still struggling to cope with her sister Eleanor’s death in a car accident nine months earlier. Feeling that her life no longer has meaning or purpose, Violet is contemplating suicide. Finch, meanwhile, idealizes death and suicide due to his struggle with an undiagnosed mental illness. As Violet and Finch get to know each other…

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