Parallel Characters in All The Light We Cannot See
In Anthony Doerr’s All the Light We Cannot See, groups of unique characters explore the tragedies and parallel experiences that World War 2 has caused. Marie Laure and Werner both share the trait of curiosity, their connections to World War 2, and their exposure to violence.
Even though Marie Laure and Werner are different in many ways, but they are both curious about the world around them. They both can see the little things in life and they naturally question why they happen. Marie Laure feels a sheet of paper at her window, and curiously smells and examines it with her hands. Even though Marie Laure cannot see, she uses her other senses to fulfill her curiosity. While Werner’s more curious about other topics than Mari Laure, they both are intrigued with everything around them. Werner questions Frau Elena on why we get hiccups and other random topics. Werner inquires why things happen and for what reason. Both Marie Laure’s and Werner’s curiosity about everything make them well-liked among their caretakers and close friends. Marie Laure’s and Werner’s curiosity is still there and hasn’t been diminished as the war progresses.
Werner and Marie Laure share connections to World War 2 whether it be directly or indirectly. They are both have some sort of relationship with people that influence the war. Marie Laure’s father is arrested by the Nazis for trying to take measurements for Marie Laure’s model. Through her father’s arrest, Marie Laure now is indirectly connected to the war. Marie Laure doesn’t handle this well and will now do anything to get her father back. Werner on the other hand is the enemy in this war. Werner joins the Hitler Youth Group and is being trained to become a soldier for Germany. Through the Hitler Youth Group, Werner is now directly connected to the war. To most people, he is now the enemy but to Germany, people worship him. Marie Laure is fighting against everything that Werner is fighting for. They are both connected to the war even though they are fighting for opposite sides.
Exposure to violence can leave you a different person, whether it be for the worse or the best. Both Marie Laure and Werner have been exposed to violence at some point during their lives. They both know what it’s like to witness things so horrible that you wish you could help but you’re just frozen in shock. Marie Laure hears the bombs going off through her town, most likely killing her neighbors. This bombing shocks Marie Laure and makes her realize that her father could die and she wouldn’t know. As Marie Laure becomes nervous about what will come as the war progresses, Werner is training to help the Natzis. Werner throws water at a prisoner’s face just because he escaped from a workcamp. While this violence seems to scare Marie Laure, Werner seems to revel in it.
Although Werner and Marie Laure seem to be so different on the outside, they both share connections to World War 2, their exposure to violence, and their curious personality.