Our last book discussion will be on Thursday the 27th. Here are some things I would like you to think about for that conversation:
- 1. The narration moves back and forth both in time and between different characters. How did this affect your reading experience? How do you think the experience would have been different if the story had been told entirely in chronological order?
- 2. When Werner and Jutta first hear the Frenchman on the radio, he concludes his broadcast by saying
“Open your eyes and see what you can with them before they close forever”
- (pages 48–49), and Werner recalls these words throughout the book (pages 86, 264, and 409). How do you think this phrase relates to the overall message of the story? How does it relate to Madame Manec’s question: “Don’t you want to be alive before you die?” (page 270)?
- 3. Reread Madame Manec’s boiling frog analogy on page 284. Etienne later asks Marie-Laure, “Who was supposed to be the frog? Her? Or the Germans?” (page 328) Who did you think Madame Manec meant? Could it have been someone other than herself or the Germans? What does it say about Etienne that he doesn’t consider himself to be the frog?
- 4. Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, a Russian writer,
- once wrote that “the line dividing good and evil cuts through the heart of every human being.”
All the Light We Cannot See
- is filled with examples of human nature at its best and worst. Discuss the themes of good versus evil throughout the story. How do they drive each other? What do you think are the ultimate lessons that these characters and the resolution of their stories teach us?
- 5. What do you think are the themes of this book? Who was your favorite character?