All the Light We Cannot See

All the Light We Cannot See


Anthony Doerr

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All the Light We Cannot See: 4. Number 4 rue Vauborel Summary & Analysis

It is six in the evening, the day after the bombing. Sergeant Major von Rumpel slowly walks toward Etienne LeBlanc’s house, noticing the ruins of the buildings around him. As he approaches the house, he notices that it’s mostly unscathed, except that some of the windows have shattered. He notes that there are two mandated occupants in the house—Etienne, aged 63, and Marie-Laure LeBlanc, aged 16. Von Rumpel thinks about all the dangers he’s endured, and walks into the house—the “eye of the hurricane.”
We now start to see the climax of the novel developing—all the main characters come together at Etienne’s house in Saint-Malo, with the villain (von Rumpel) pursuing the diamond in the possession of one of the heroes (Marie-Laure). The house is indeed like the eye of hurricane—a place surrounded by conflict and chaos, but which somehow remains eerily calm and intact. This goes along with the legend of the Sea of Flames diamond, which is supposed to keep its owner safe, but bring destruction all others.
World War II, the Nazis, and the French Resistance Theme Icon
Interconnectedness and Separation Theme Icon
Fate, Duty, and Free Will Theme Icon
Science and “Ways of Seeing” Theme Icon