Posted in INJUSTICE

ALL THE LIGHT WE CANNOT SEE

 

“ALL THE LIGHT WE CANNOT SEE”

Anthony Doerr

Fourth Estate, 2014

Winner of several awards including the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 2015, the bestseller by Anthony Doerr takes us into the torments of the Second World War while following two teenagers who respectively belong to the opposite camp : Marie-Laure, a French girl, blind from childhood, who fled Paris with his father to take refuge at his grand-uncle’s house, and Werner, a German boy, gifted and self-taught orphan who had to join Hitler’s armies in order to put an end to the Resistance Movement.

The paths of these two “bright” teenagers cross at Saint-Malo towards the end of the war, at the time when the bombings are destroying a large part of the city. They both experience the forces of evil and those of good, but they will allow themselves to be guided by the light of the latter.

The title of the novel refers to the question of a teacher who spoke on the radio just before the beginning of the war. His courses are followed secretly and carefully by Werner and his sister. The teacher asks himself

« So how, children, does the brain, which lives without a spark of light, build for us a world so full of light? « 

The author’s skill succeeds in proving the victory of human goodness – which is precisely the said light -, in a world undergoing the hell and darkness of war.

 

A real coup de coeur, Anthony Doerr’s novel  brings us into the middle of an age which should not be forgotten : a violent,  brutish, short and unrestrained period, where the bravest ones who dare to rebel against the power in place, seem to lose the game.

But are they really losers?

Among them, a blind girl and a helpless orphan succeed in freeing themselves from the chains of their time and the a priori of their nationality to follow their conscience, their inner voice.

Even the darkest hours can never destroy the beauty of the world

The novel revisits this period of history without taking sides and underlines the courage of the weakest ones against the surrounding cruelty and injustice.

Advertisements
Posted in INJUSTICE, LONELINESS

Written in 1948, “1984” by George Orwell … still relevant in 2015

“1984” George Orwell

Signet 1950

No doubt that many of you have already read this classic novel, maybe during your school years. Why not get back to this reading which is still relevant because it highlights the excesses of totalitarianism and the annihilation of any spirit of freedom and individuality that is essential for human being.

BIG BROTHER  is the symbolic character of George Orwell’s novel and has become a kind of metaphor used in everyday language – perhaps nowadays even more than ever  – to denounce any invasion of privacy.

In “1984” Big Brother embodies the leader of a party to which  all people are subject in deeds and thoughts, including Winston Smith. He is the main character whose feelings we are following in this story.  Winston Smith will come to doubt about the value of this almighty police state and to experience some new way of living and feeling. But not without problems…

Is “1984” a “read-to-heal” novel ?

yes because it allows the reader to escape to an elsewhere which is – fortunately – different from his daily life…
yes because it allows him to put his own concerns in perspective : indeed our thoughts are still not under control, we have the choice not to disclose our privacy provided we do not compromise ourselves on social networks
yes because this novel gives food for thought and stimulates to act in order to maintain our individual freedom.

In the following interview, the author George Orwell gives us an early warning :