We return to Marie-Laure (whose last name, we’re told, is LeBlanc), sitting alone in her bedroom feeling a leaflet she can’t read. The city is full of loud noises—the noises of sirens and aircraft engines. Marie-Laure feels the city model in her bedroom, as the dozen bombers roar toward her city.
The disparity between the city model and the chaotic city around Marie-Laure is heartbreaking, and one of Doerr’s most powerful images. It also brings up the theme of “science” (in this analysis, basically meaning any ordered way of making sense of an unordered world), as the scientific model of Saint-Malo remains pristine and ideal, while the real Saint-Malo collapses into madness.
As the sound of the aircraft grows louder, Marie-Laure feels for one of the miniature houses in her model. She takes off the “roof” of the tiny house, and finds a small stone underneath it. She whispers, “Papa?”
At this point, we’re still not meant to understand what’s going on plot-wise, but rather should just make note of the various images Doerr presents to us, as they will be keys to the rest of the story. Doerr begins “en media res” (in the middle of the action) and then gradually unfolds all the events that led up this point, and those that follow it.