All the Light We Cannot See

All the Light We Cannot See

Jutta Pfennig Character Analysis

Werner Pfennig’s beloved sister Jutta is the moral constant against which Werner measures his own sins. When Werner is recruited for the prestigious National Institute—a Fascist school—Jutta begins to ignore him, and when he’s sent off to fight in the Nazi army, she cools to him even more. Nevertheless, Jutta and Werner remain extremely close with one another, and throughout World War II, they think of each other and remember their carefree days as children. Years after Werner’s death, Jutta continues to love and remember her brother, and his lasting influence leads her to eventually make contact with Marie-Laure.

Jutta Pfennig Quotes in All the Light We Cannot See

The All the Light We Cannot See quotes below are all either spoken by Jutta Pfennig or refer to Jutta Pfennig. 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:
World War II, the Nazis, and the French Resistance Theme Icon
). Note: all page and citation info for the quotes below refers to the Fourth Estate edition of All the Light We Cannot See published in 2015.
Three (June 1940): Don’t Tell Lies Quotes

“It’s not forever, Jutta. Two years, maybe. Half the boys who get admitted don’t manage to graduate. But maybe I’ll learn something; maybe they’ll teach me to be a proper engineer. Maybe I can learn to fly an airplane, like little Siegfried says. Don’t shake your head, we’ve always wanted to see the inside of an airplane, haven’t we? I’ll fly us west, you and me, Frau Elena too if she wants. Or we could take a train. We’ll ride through forests and villages de montagnes, all those places Frau Elena talked about when we were small. Maybe we could ride all the way to Paris.” The burgeoning light. The tender hissing of the grass. Jutta opens her eyes but doesn’t look at him. “Don’t tell lies. Lie to yourself, Werner, but don’t lie to me.”

Related Characters: Werner Pfennig (speaker), Jutta Pfennig (speaker), Frau Elena
Page Number: 133
Explanation and Analysis:

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Five (January 1941): Intoxicated Quotes

Mostly he misses Jutta: her loyalty, her obstinacy, the way she always seems to recognize what is right.
Though in Werner’s weaker moments, he resents those same qualities in his sister. Perhaps she’s the impurity in him, the static in his signal that the bullies can sense. Perhaps she’s the only thing keeping him from surrendering totally.

Related Characters: Werner Pfennig (speaker), Jutta Pfennig (speaker)
Related Symbols: Radio
Page Number: 263
Explanation and Analysis:

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Jutta Pfennig Character Timeline in All the Light We Cannot See

The timeline below shows where the character Jutta Pfennig appears in All the Light We Cannot See. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Zero (August 7, 1944): Cellar
World War II, the Nazis, and the French Resistance Theme Icon
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...eyes—in spite of himself, he thinks of his childhood, long ago. He imagines his sister, Jutta, and the fields of sunflowers near his house. He remembers something he heard on the... (full context)
One (1934): Zollverein
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...in a town called Zollverein, near the city of Essen, Germany, with his younger sister, Jutta. Werner and his sister are raised in an orphanage, full of sick children and overworked... (full context)
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As Werner grows up, he begins walking by the nearby mines. One day, he takes Jutta to the mines, points down into the darkness, and says, “That’s where Father died.” (full context)
One (1934): Radio
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Meanwhile Werner is eight years old, and Jutta is six. One day, they find a radio near an old storage shed. Werner sneaks... (full context)
One (1934): The Professor
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Jutta shows Werner that she’s discovered ten yards of copper wire lying in the mud near... (full context)
One (1934): Open Your Eyes
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After discovering the Frenchman’s radio broadcasts on science, Werner and Jutta make every effort to listen to them. Over time, the siblings learn about magnets, the... (full context)
One (1934): The Principles of Mechanics
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...“Jew book.” Werner protests that Hertz was born in Hamburg, but the official doesn’t listen. Jutta pipes up that her brother is a brilliant student, and one day he’ll become a... (full context)
One (1934): Bigger Faster Brighter
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One day, Jutta tells Werner that a local woman has been kicked out of the pool for being... (full context)
One (1934): Letter #1: Jutta
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Jutta writes a letter to the Frenchman who broadcasts about science. Jutta and Werner have discovered... (full context)
One (1934): Making Socks
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Werner wakes up one night, and finds Jutta lying next to him. Jutta is drawing, as she often does. These days, Jutta must... (full context)
Three (June 1940): You Have Been Called
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...will “celebrate” Werner’s achievement—especially people like the government official who took Werner’s book from him. Jutta doesn’t congratulate her brother, and in fact she begins ignoring him. Nevertheless, the other children... (full context)
Three (June 1940): Don’t Tell Lies
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...orphanage for the next two years. All the other students admire him—the only exception is Jutta, who is furious that he is going away to the Institute. One day, Werner asks... (full context)
Three (June 1940): The Sum of Angles
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...of the Institute every weekend—information that Werner finds exciting. A little sadly, he remembers how Jutta bragged about his talents to the government official, years before. (full context)
Three (June 1940): The Professor
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...the history of coal (which we, the readers, recognize as the same lecture Werner and Jutta listened to years before). Etienne explains that his brother, Henri (Mari-Laure’s grandfather) was good at... (full context)
Three (June 1940): Letters #2-4: Werner to Jutta
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Werner writes a letter to Jutta, telling his sister that Dr. Hauptmann is planning to recommend him to high-ranking Nazi officials,... (full context)
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In his final letter to Jutta, Werner describes the field exercises in which he’s participated. The other boys are excited for... (full context)
Three (June 1940): Blackbirds
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...tells him about relativity, quantum mechanics, and other cutting-edge science. Werner thinks of the letters Jutta has been sending him—mostly casual, and “full of banalities.” (full context)
Five (January 1941): January Recess
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...bird drawings by the great American artist, Audubon. Werner, impressed, tells Frederick that his sister Jutta would love all this. (full context)
Five (January 1941): You Have Other Friends
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...in spite of himself, remembers being with his sister, years ago. He imagines how sad Jutta was when he destroyed their radio. Werner tries to reconcile with Frederick, but Frederick ignores... (full context)
Five (January 1941): Weakest (#3)
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...to go to lunch. Werner thinks to himself that he’ll never be able to tell Jutta about what’s happened to Frederick. (full context)
Five (January 1941): Intoxicated
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...He feels that he’s being bullied and disliked for being an orphan. He wonders if Jutta represents everything that he doesn’t like about himself. (full context)
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Werner continues to receive letters from Jutta, though they’re almost completely censored. These letters make Werner seem untrustworthy to the teachers—they wonder... (full context)
Five (January 1941): Letter #8: Jutta to Werner
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In this letter, Jutta asks Werner why he hasn’t been writing to her, but the rest of her complaint... (full context)
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Werner finishes reading the letter and looks at what Jutta has sent him: the notebook of “questions” that Werner began writing as a young child.... (full context)
Five (January 1941): Letter #9: Werner to Jutta
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Werner writes Jutta a letter that’s heavily censored (more than 75% of it is blacked out). He says... (full context)
Six (8 August 1944): Making the Radio
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...has a vision of himself working on a radio at the age of eight, with Jutta sitting next to him. As he works, Volkheimer looks at him, hopeful. (full context)
Seven (August 1942): Sunflowers
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...lover of science—starting when he listened to radio broadcasts. He thinks about his time with Jutta, and his education with Dr. Hauptmann. All this has led him to being a soldier... (full context)
Seven (August 1942): Hunting
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...soldier with twitching eyes—Neumann One explains that frostbite destroyed his eyelids. Werner writes nothing to Jutta. (full context)
Seven (August 1942): Fever
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As the months drag on, Werner thinks more about Jutta and Frau Elena. One day, he and the other soldiers are riding through the mountains... (full context)
Eight (9 August 1944): Voice
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Werner thinks back to Jutta. He remembers hearing about a Nazi rally when he was a young boy. Everyone else... (full context)
Nine (May 1944): Edge of the World
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While touring the army, Werner receives a letter from Jutta. Volkheimer reads the letter to Werner while they ride in a truck. Jutta tells Werner... (full context)
Nine (May 1944): Letter #11: From Werner to Jutta
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Werner apologizes to Jutta for not having written for a few months. He explains that his fever is better,... (full context)
Ten (12 August 1944): Light
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...imagines his father standing in front of him. Werner remembers building a tiny sailboat with Jutta, years ago. The sailboat sank, but he assured Jutta that they would make another one. (full context)
Eleven (1945): Berlin
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...is sent to work in a factory. They work hard and are given meager food. Jutta, who still lives with Elena, teaches the younger orphans how to read and write. She... (full context)
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In the fall of 1944, Jutta had received a letter in which she was told that Werner was killed. As April... (full context)
Twelve (1974): Jutta
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Jutta, now with the last name Wette, teaches students in a school in Essen. She has... (full context)
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Jutta tells Volkheimer that she needs a moment alone. She goes into the kitchen, and is... (full context)
Twelve (1974): Duffel
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Volkheimer has just left Jutta’s house, leaving behind a duffel bag of Werner’s possessions. Jutta tries to avoid opening the... (full context)
Twelve (1974): Saint-Malo
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Several weeks after the events of the last chapter, Jutta and Max have left Essen by train for Saint-Malo. Jutta is carrying Werner’s notebook, along... (full context)
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Jutta finds a place to stay in Saint-Malo, but can’t quite explain to herself why she’s... (full context)
Twelve (1974): Visitor
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Marie-Laure has just been introduced to Jutta Pfennig, the sister of Werner. Jutta introduces her son, Max, and explains that she’s come... (full context)
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Marie-Laure and Jutta continue talking about Werner. Marie-Laure explains that she left Werner with the key to the... (full context)
Twelve (1974): Paper Airplane
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After her day in Paris with Marie-Laure, Jutta returns to her hotel, accompanied by Max. Max has had a wonderful day at the... (full context)
Twelve (1974): Frederick
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...The letter has been sent by “a woman from Essen” (whom we recognize to be Jutta), and contains a second letter, from Werner to Frederick. Frederick is uninterested in this letter.... (full context)