All The Light We Can Not See And Emily Dickinson 's Hope Is The Thing With Feathers

1551 Words Jan 7th, 2016 7 Pages
Both Anthony Doerr’s All the Light We Cannot See and Emily Dickinson’s “Hope is the thing with feathers” make use of bird imagery. Doerr’s novel follows the parallel lives of a blind French girl named Marie and a young German boy named Werner, as their lives intertwine as World War Two unfolds around them. Frederick, a character in All the Light We Cannot See, exhibits an obsession with birds which reflects his desire for freedom. Another character, Werner, displays a similar fascination with birds and their connotations with freedom. Their desires are never satisfied, as both characters meet a restricting, dismal future. Separately, the speaker in “Hope is the thing with feathers” describes the bird’s attributes, which are parallel to that of hope. Doerr and Dickinson both utilize birds as symbols, but for dissimilar concepts. Doerr argues that freedom can only be envisioned and never fully obtained, and Dickinson insists that hope is constantly present, and will prevail through all hardship. Throughout All the Light We Cannot See, birds symbolize a yearning for freedom when in a trapped state. Birds are associated with Frederick, a character who longs to escape the expectations of his country and family. Frederick catches sight of a bird outside his window, and it “doesn’t look like much,… hardly a couple of ounces of feathers and bones. But that bird can fly to Africa and back” (Doerr 224). Frederick’s physical traits mirror that of the bird. He is “a reedy boy, thin as…

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