If the government tries to control it's citizens, no one is allowed to stand-up for themselves. In the city of ember, on page 12-13 it's assignment day, and Doon doesn't like the Job he got.
'Unfolding the paper, Doon read: "Messenger." He scowled, crumpled the paper, and dashed it to the floor... ..."The blackouts!" cried Doon. He jumped from his seat. "The lights go out all the time now! And the shortages, there's shortages of everything! If no one does anything about it, something terrible is going to happen!"' In this part, Doon is shouting at the mayor. He's talking about that he dislikes the mayor's/governments methods of doing things, and that what they are doing in affecting the city because of shortages of resources. The mayor then argues that students have to be happy to work for Ember. Next, on page 37-38, Lina was delivering a message to the Mayor, form Looper. While she was waiting for the mayor to arrive, she found a stairway to the roof. While Lina was up there, a lot of people gathered from down below, stopping to watch. Then suddenly the chief guard comes in.
' "Halt!" he shouted, though she wasn't going anywhere. He grabbed her by the arm. "What are you doing here?" "I was just curious," said Lina, in her most innocent voice. "I wanted to see the city from the roof..." "Curiosity leads to trouble..."' Then continuing on to page 38, the guard has brought Lina back down and explained to the mayor what she has done. He'd suggested the prison room already, though luckily the message that Lina was supposed to deliver, saved her from the prison room. Here, Lina was nearly sentenced to a couple days in 'prison', though luckily her message saved her. Lina tried standing up for herself, and used a sweet and innocent voice to try to help her out, but it didn't work. She said she was just curious. In Ember, curiosity is denied as much as possible. Even the guard said so, "Curiosity leads to trouble." Though if it weren't for Lina and Doon being curious, then they wouldn't have found a way out of Ember. Lastly, pages 205 and 217 -219, show that you can't stand up for your self when the government is too controlling, because it will lead you too consequences. On page 205, Lina and Doon see a sign, that reads: "Doon Harrow and Lina Mayfleet wanted for spreading vicious rumours. If you see them, report to mayor's chief guard. Believe nothing they say. Reward." This part is about when Lina and Doon had reported to the guards that the mayor had a supply closet with so much resources. Then, when Lina and Doon wanted to go to the pipeworks, to escape Ember, Lina got caught by the guards and taken to the mayor (pages 217-219). There, the mayor had help a long speech. "I'm not surprised.... for their benefit. For their own good." Then Lina replies: "Hogwash." Hogwash is another word for nonsense. The mayor then gets super angry, and starts talking about the prison room. How it would be good if she spent a few days there. The mayor was looking for a bell on his desk that would summon the guards, who would then have escorted her to the prison room. Suddenly, the lights go out and Lina luckily escapes. Lina was lucky to escape here, because then when she escapes, she makes her way to the pipeworks, and escapes Ember with Doon and Poppy.
BLUE : Textual Evidence
RED : Explanation
PURPLE : Claim
City of Ember Reflection
City of Ember Reflection
I used to think…
All the way back in the first chapter of the story, I thought this book was set in the future. I thought it was in a total different glaxay, and would have nothing related to the world we live in now. Since Ember was/is running out of resources, I thought that maybe if this was set in the future, that then the limited resources we use today would run out and there would be nothing made up of non-limited resources. Things like gas, oil, and non-limited electricity are going to run out at some point, and because I know that this will happen, I thought that Jeanne DuPrau would write about what it might be like when the time comes.
Now I think…
Now, since I've finished the City of Ember, I know that Ember is underground, definitely not in another galaxy, but I also know more general themes that Ember could be/is about. It’s about curiosity and government control. In Ember, the government holds curiosity back. The mayor himself doesn't like curiosity because when people like Lina and Doon become curious and go and explore, they find out things like the mayor’s little room with all the extra resources, or they could find out things like the way out of ember.