Lea Ashery
Lea Ashery asked:

is the radio in the story a symbol of freedom of mind?

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Betty Confetti The radio represents defiance of ML's uncle, and explains how he is ultimately able to overcome his OCD tendency to remain indoors (symbolic of the German people who closed their eyes to Hitler's atrocities). It represents freedom for ML, as without the radio, Werner will never come there to save her from the jewel hunter. For Werner, it represents the key to redemption after his failure during his training to refuse participation in the torture of the Jew (who ultimately dies and rots in the yard). Because through the radio, he is able to save ML's life. The radio essentially connects hope with death.......because Werner's goal was to stop communication, whereas ML's goal with her uncle was to facilitate it. And we see that hope wins--even hope for a blind girl who has lost EVERYTHING. The radio is more valuable than the jewel, and yet why are there not more questions about what happened to the radio? Why do we value a jewel more or care more about why that portion of the story makes no sense. Think about it, the radio led to an enormous bureaucratic structure bent upon destruction, whereas the diamond was only being sought by one guy. Ultimately, we as a society look at the diamond as a sign of hope (The Hope Diamond), when in reality, the key to hope is freedom of thought, something the Nazi's tried so hard to squelch.
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by Anthony Doerr (Goodreads Author)
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