55 pages 1 hour read

Louise Penny

All the Devils are Here

Fiction | Novel | Adult | Published in 2020

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Symbols & Motifs


In this novel, Paris acts as a motif for the balance between light and darkness. Known as the City of Light, Paris is a twinkly environment with beautiful streets and gorgeous architecture. Paris is popularly associated with romance, good food, and beauty. Such a space is an appropriate setting for a murder mystery because where there is beauty, there must be ugliness. Though Paris might have certain cultural connotations with light and love, it is also a metropolis of diverse people, a winding city, and often inhospitable to outsiders. Paris represents the fragile dichotomy between good and bad because there is so much possibility for bad in such a city.

Around Paris, there are signs of a dark history warped by time to seem romanticized when in fact, the French are still dealing with the ripple effects of their colonialism and World War II. The sort of selective amnesia of a city trying to forget its past while at the same monumentalizing its history is symbolically important to the novel. As the outsider, Armand Gamache is better able to acknowledge those gaps between perception and truth. Paris often acts as the clue itself to Armand’s winding theories.