All the Light We Cannot See

All the Light We Cannot See


Anthony Doerr

Teachers and parents! Struggling with distance learning? Our Teacher Edition on All the Light can help.

All the Light We Cannot See: 1. Rumors Summary & Analysis

All through Paris, there are rumors that the Germans will invade France soon. Marie-Laure asks her father if he’s concerned about the German invasion. Although the Germans have already invaded Austria, Marie-Laure’s father insists that there’s nothing to be concerned about. Marie-Laure tries to calm herself by reading Jules Verne. She studies the names of shells with Dr. Geffard. One day Geffard tells her, almost gleefully, that most of the creatures in the oceans have already gone extinct—and mankind is no different. Marie-Laure senses that something dangerous is drawing slowly closer to her.
Geffard’s statement about mankind going extinct repeats the idea that everything is subject to decay and destruction over time. This is, naturally, a terrifying concept for a young girl—and also akin to the prophecies of doom in the legend of the Sea of Flames. Overall, it adds to the tone of fate and overwhelming forces beyond one’s individual control—like a diamond’s curse, or the start of a world war.
World War II, the Nazis, and the French Resistance Theme Icon
Fate, Duty, and Free Will Theme Icon
Family Theme Icon
Science and “Ways of Seeing” Theme Icon