100 pages 3 hours read

Anthony Doerr

All the Light We Cannot See

Fiction | Novel | Adult | Published in 2014

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Essay Topics


Light and its battle against darkness form the central theme of this novel. How do both Werner and Marie-Laure see the world in terms of this theme? Explain.


Madam Manec urges Etienne to live before he dies. Why does she say this to him? What affect does this plea have on Etienne? What affect does it have on Marie-Laure, who overhears it? Explain what she means in terms of all three characters.


Werner says that he lost his soul in the war, but in many ways, he loses it much earlier. In what ways does he redeem his soul? In what ways does he not? Explain in terms of Werner’s relationships with at least three people. Some suggestions: Frank Volkheimer, Marie-Laure, Dr. Hauptmann, Frederick, Jutta, and Etienne LeBlanc.