In Saint-Malo, the Nazis ensure that the people keep a strict “blackout” (not allowing any lights to be on) at night so that the city will be invisible from the sky. One day, Marie-Laure visits Etienne in his room and asks him about his radios. Etienne reveals that while he’s surrendered all his other radios, the broadcasting system in his attic continues to function. Marie-Laure points out the obvious—the Nazis will search Etienne’s house and find the radio. Etienne asks Marie-Laure for her help: together they go to the attic and push a heavy wardrobe in front of the attic door, blocking it from view.
Etienne shows some signs of resisting the Nazi authority instead of giving into it entirely—but not necessarily because he wants to be part of the resistance. Rather, he seems unwilling to give up the device that is his most powerful link to his lost brother. For the time being, Etienne’s disobedience has the gleeful secrecy of a parlor game—it’s exciting for the young Marie-Laure.