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. What They Have Summary & Analysis

Under the Hotel of Bees, Volkheimer continues to hack at the debris barring his escape. In between his attempts, Volkheimer offers Bernd some water from his canteen. Werner notes that the soldiers have a few grenades left in their possession, but of course it would be suicidal to try to bomb their way out of the room. Werner notices that Volkheimer is trying to reduce his electric light. He turns it on for a few seconds to see what he’s doing, then turns it off and proceeds with hacking. Volkheimer turns to Werner and tells him not to give up hope, saying, “Think of your sister.”
Volkheimer’s connection with Werner is reiterated in this passage. The gigantic young man is essentially a weapon for the Nazis, but he also has a heart, and seems to have genuine affection for Werner. Here Volkheimer seems to know Werner better than Werner knows himself—he’s there to remind Werner of his love for Jutta at the perfect moment. Werner’s love for Jutta is great enough that it saves him from despair—even though it seems likely that he’s going to die in the cellar.
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