All the Light We Cannot See

The Light We Must See 12th Grade

Through All The Light We Cannot See, Anthony Doerr creates a world in which two invariably different individuals connect to one another by way of fate and personal faults. Werner’s shortcomings - or his inability to visualize his hope - are aligned with Marie-Laure’s lack of sight. Werner and Marie-Laure are forced - in their own realities and together, upon meeting one another - to understand that the world is far from good. That does not, however, mean they can submit to the bad (Nazism, for Werner; sadness, for Marie-Laure). They come to the realization that one must, “Open your eyes and see what you can with them before they close forever” (Doerr, 310), adding a tragic dash of situational irony in light of Marie-Laure’s lack of ability to, physically, do precisely that. All The Light We Cannot See, through this connection, becomes a search for light in the tunnel of life, and the presence or lack of sight in the novel provide symbols for hope and the obstacles individuals encounter during that search.

The obstacles Marie-Laure and Werner encounter aim to dissuade them from seeing (physically and metaphorically), but they are ultimately able to overcome those obstacles by acknowledging the errors of their ways and opening...

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