All the Light We Cannot See

All the Light We Cannot See


Anthony Doerr

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All the Light We Cannot See: 6. The Death of Walter Bernd Summary & Analysis

Underneath the hotel, Bernd is muttering gibberish. Suddenly, he stops talking, then sits upright and begs for water. He looks up and stares at Volkheimer and Werner. He explains that he visited his father last year. His father had asked Bernd to stay, rather than leaving to walk through the streets to visit his friends. Bernd had left his father anyway, even though he had nobody to visit.
Berndt is clearly at the end of his life—and not just because the title of this chapter says so. Bernd is expressing his regrets—including the time when he ignored his family when he could have spent time with them. Doerr rather pessimistically suggests that most humans leave behind them a vast quantity of regrets and misdeeds, most of which go unnoticed.
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As Bernd’s voice fades away, Werner decides to work on the radio beside him. The transceiver is crushed, but he tries to repair it anyway. He remembers his days a radio repairman, back when he lived at the orphanage.
We can imagine that Werner will be able to repair the radio, given how talented he was even as a child—and that this radio will then provide a link between him and Marie-Laure.
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