© 2016 Shmoop University, Inc. All rights reserved.
The City of Ember

The City of Ember


by Jeanne DuPrau

The City of Ember Theme of Friendship

It may sound corny, but friendship is like a bright light that can illuminate even the darkest times. Unless you're in The City of Ember, in which case a total power failure leaves everyone stranded in a pitch-black city unable to see a stinkin' thing, friendship or no. But we imagine it's still nice to have friends in those cases. Lina in particular learns a lot about friendship during her time in Ember: she learns about true friends and false friends, which friends have her back and which only care for themselves. There are as many kinds of friends as there are colors in the rainbow—which is to say, a lot.

Questions About Friendship

  1. Why doesn't Doon have many friends? Does he seem to have more friends by the end of the novel?
  2. What do friends in Ember typically do when they hang out? 
  3. Is Lina a good friend? Why or why not?
  4. Have you observed many adult friendships in Ember? What's the deal with them?

Chew on This

Try on an opinion or two, start a debate, or play the devil’s advocate.

Lizzie is a perfect example of a fair-weather friend. She's there when it's convenient for her, but when the going gets tough, she just gets going.

A good friend is never selfish, which is why Lina is the best friend of them all. She's only selfish once in the book.

People who Shmooped this also Shmooped...