Presenter Information

Elizabeth D. SmithFollow

Content Category

Literary Criticism

Abstract/Description

This essay explores the ways the characters in All the Light We Cannot See use radios. While the German characters listen to propaganda on the radio and become convinced, either out of excitement or fear, to join the Third Reich. However, because the rebles in the occupied countries use illegal radio broadcasts to communicate their own ideas, they are seeking to maintain their identity in spite of the Nazis’ presence. In this sense, both the German and non-German radio broadcasts throughout the book show that physical surrender does not equate defeat, but rather defeat comes from a psychological surrender of personal identity.

Origin of Submission

as part of a class

Faculty Involvement

Trent Hickman

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The Bloodless Conquest in Doerr's All the Light We Cannot See

This essay explores the ways the characters in All the Light We Cannot See use radios. While the German characters listen to propaganda on the radio and become convinced, either out of excitement or fear, to join the Third Reich. However, because the rebles in the occupied countries use illegal radio broadcasts to communicate their own ideas, they are seeking to maintain their identity in spite of the Nazis’ presence. In this sense, both the German and non-German radio broadcasts throughout the book show that physical surrender does not equate defeat, but rather defeat comes from a psychological surrender of personal identity.