Best ‘All The Light We Cannot See’ Quotes 2021

‘All The Light We Cannot See’ is a novel first published in the year 2014 which focuses on exploring human nature and how war affects it.

Even though this war novel focuses on historically relevant events, it is considered a work of fiction. It was awarded the respected Pulitzer Prize for Fiction and the Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Fiction in the year 2015.

The title’s symbolism in ‘All The Light We Cannot see’ is literally towards the light of the wavelengths of the electromagnetic spectrum that cannot be visible to the human eyes. Marie-Laure LeBlanc is the first protagonist in the novel, a blind girl from Paris who has to flee during the bombing by Germany in 1940 to Saint-Malo. Werner Pfennig is the second protagonist of the novel who is a bright young fellow later trapped under a pile of rubble who stays alive on the radio broadcast by Marie-Laure on Jules Verne’s famous novel, ‘Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea’ in Braille. “Open your eyes and see what you can with them before they close forever”, is the most memorable ‘All The Light We Cannot See’ quote along with, “I have no choice. I wake up and live my life.” or “We call it color. But the electromagnetic spectrum runs to zero in one direction and infinity in the other, so really, children, mathematically, all of light is invisible.”

Here are quite a few overwhelming ‘All The Light We Cannot See’ character quotes, Werner Pfennig quotes, Marie Laure quotes, important themes, and life quotes by Anthony Doerr from Scribner publications 2014 edition. These quotes show what makes this work of art an inspirational piece for you to read.

Important Quotes From ‘All The Light We Cannot See’ About War

Anthony Doerr focuses on the historical events that lead to destructive images due to the war.

Anthony Doerr talks about the historic walled city of Saint-Malo, being totally destroyed by a fire of 865 buildings with only 182 remaining put with damage to some degree. This list focuses on the effects of the war.

1. “What the war did to dreamers.”

– Part 12, Chapter 170, ‘Duffel’.

2. “When I lost my sight, Werner, people said I was brave. When my father left, people said I was brave. But it is not bravery; I have no choice. I wake up and live my life. Don’t you do the same?”

– Part 10, Chapter 161 ‘Second Can’.

3. “You know the greatest lesson of history? It’s that history is whatever the victors say it is. That’s the lesson. Whoever wins, that’s who decides the history.”

– Part 1, Chapter 30, ‘Herr Siedler’.

4. “‘It’s not a person you wish to fight, Madame, it’s a system. How do you fight a system?’ ‘You try.'”

– Part 5, Chapter 84 ‘Alive Before You Die’.

5. “Time is a slippery thing: lose hold of it once, and its string might sail out of your hands forever.”

– Part 9, Chapter 122, ‘In The Attic’.

6. “War, Etienne thinks distantly, is a bazaar where lives are traded like any other commodity: chocolate or bullets or parachute silk.”

– Part 9, Chapter 140, ‘Forty Minutes’.

7. “The war that killed your grandfather killed sixteen million others. One and a half million French boys alone, most of them younger than I was. Two million on the German side. March the dead in a single-file line, and for eleven days and eleven nights, they’d walk past our door.”

– Part 7, Chapter 116, ‘The Bridge’.

8. “Some griefs can never be put right.”

– Part 12, Chapter 169, ‘Jutta’.

9. “Every hour, she thinks, someone for whom the war was memory falls out of the world.”

– Part 13, Chapter 178, ‘2014’.

Inspirational Quotes From ‘All The Light We Cannot See’ About Life

No matter how difficult one’s life gets, there is always hope. Here are a few beautiful quotes from the book by Anthony Doerr that can surely inspire people to look beyond.

10. “We all grew up before we were grown up.”

– Part 12, Chapter 173, ‘Visitor’.

11. “Why else do any of this if not to become who we want to be?”

– Part 5, Chapter 68, ‘January Recess’.

12. “All your life you wait, and then it finally comes, and are you ready?”

– Part 10, Chapter 158, ‘Comrades’.

13. “See obstacles as opportunities, Reinhold. See obstacles as inspirations.”

– Part 7, Chapter 92, ‘Treatments’.

14. “They’ll say you’re too little, Werner, that you’re from nowhere, that you shouldn’t dream big. But I believe in you. I think you’ll do something great.”

– Part 1, Chapter 10, ‘Zollverein’.

15. “We all come into existence as a single cell, smaller than a speck of dust. Much smaller. Divide. Multiply. Add and subtract. Matter changes hands, atoms flow in and out, molecules pivot, proteins stitch together, mitochondria send out their oxidative dictates; we begin as a microscopic electrical swarm. The lungs the brain the heart. Forty weeks later, six trillion cells get crushed in the vise of our mother’s birth canal and we howl. Then the world starts in on us.”

– Part 10, Chapter 160, ‘Are You There?’

16. “Open your eyes and see what you can with them before they close forever.”

– Part 5, Chapter 82 ‘Intoxicated’.

17. “Who knew love could kill you?”

– Part 5, Chapter 69, ‘He Is Not Comin Back’.

18. “Silence is the fruit of the occupation; it hangs in branches, seeps from gutters.”

– Part 7, Chapter 111, ‘The Messages’.

19. “Don’t you want to be alive before you die?”

– Part 5, Chapter 84 ‘Alive Before You Die’.

Heartfelt ‘All The Light We Cannot See’ Themes And Quotes

The only way the people could keep a track of happenings, was by radio.

The theme of the novel revolves around human nature and how it would’ve been impossible to take power without the help of technology, especially radio, based on this piece. This quote list from Anthony Doerr defines the mentioned theme in a better light.

20. “Science, my lad, is made up of mistakes, but they are mistakes which it is useful to make because they lead little by little to the truth.”

– Part 7, Chapter 104, ‘One Ordinary Loaf’.

21. “What do we call visible light? We call it color. But the electromagnetic spectrum runs to zero in one direction and infinity in the other, so really, children, mathematically, all of light is invisible.”

– Part 1, Chapter 20, ‘Open Your Eyes’.

22. “So how, children, does the brain, which lives without a spark of light, build for us a world full of light?”

– Part 1, Chapter 18, ‘The Professor’.

23. “Walk the paths of logic. Every outcome has its cause, and every predicament has its solution. Every lock its key.”

– Part 3, Chapter 37, ‘Chateau’.

24. “Every rumor carries a seed of truth.”

– Part 5, Chapter 84 ‘Alive Before You Die’.

25. “A real diamond is never perfect.”

– Part 5, Chapter 72, ‘Lapidary’.

26. “Live faithfully, fight bravely, and die laughing.”

– Part 5, Chapter 68, ‘January Recess’.

All The Light We Cannot See Quotes

“We rise again in the grass. In the flowers. In songs.”
Anthony Doerr
“It’s embarrassingly plain how inadequate language is.”
Anthony Doerr
“But it is not bravery; I have no choice. I wake up and live my life. Don’t you do the same?”
Anthony Doerr
“Every outcome has its cause, and every predicament has its solution.”
Anthony Doerr
To shut your eyes is to guess nothing of blindness. Beneath your world of skies and faces and buildings exists a rawer and older world, a place where surface planes disintegrate and sounds ribbon in shoals through the air.
Anthony Doerr
Open your eyes and see what you can with them before they close forever.
Anthony Doerr
“Don’t you want to be alive before you die?”
Anthony Doerr
“So how, children, does the brain, which lives without a spark of light, build for us a world full of light?”
Anthony Doerr
“All your life you wait, and then it finally comes, and are you ready?”
Anthony Doerr
“A real diamond is never perfect.”
“Some people are weak in some ways, sir. Others in other ways.”
Anthony Doerr
“A line comes back to Marie-Laure from Jules Verne: Science, my lad, is made up of mistakes, but they are mistakes which it is useful to make, because they lead little by little to the truth.”
Anthony Doerr
“Why else do any of this if not to become who we want to be?”
Anthony Doerr
“Live faithfully, fight bravely, and die laughing.”
Anthony Doerr
“Some griefs can never be put right.”
Anthony Doerr
“Time is a slippery thing: lose hold of it once, and its string might sail out of your hands forever.”
Anthony Doerr
“You know the greatest lesson of history? It’s that history is whatever the victors say it is. That’s the lesson. Whoever wins, that’s who decides the history. We act in our own self-interest. Of course we do. Name me a person or a nation who does not. The trick is figuring out where your interests are.”
Anthony Doerr
“We all come into existence as a single cell, smaller than a speck of dust. Much smaller. Divide. Multiply. Add and subtract. Matter changes hands, atoms flow in and out, molecules pivot, proteins stitch together, mitochondria send out their oxidative dictates; we begin as a microscopic electrical swarm. The lungs the brain the heart. Forty weeks later, six trillion cells get crushed in the vise of our mother’s birth canal and we howl. Then the world starts in on us.”
Anthony Doerr
“Sometimes the eye of a hurricane is the safest place to be.”
Anthony Doerr
“Doing nothing is as good as collaborating.”
Anthony Doerr
“I am only alive because I have not yet died.”
Anthony Doerr
“War is a bazaar where lives are traded like any other commodity: chocolate or bullets or parachute silk.”
Anthony Doerr
“Is she happy? For portions of every day, she is happy.”
Anthony Doerr
“See obstacles as opportunities, Reinhold. See obstacles as inspirations.”
Anthony Doerr
“Every rumor carries a seed of truth,”
Anthony Doerr

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