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The City of Ember

The City of Ember


by Jeanne DuPrau

The City of Ember Theme of Greed

Of the seven deadly sins, greed is one of the most enjoyable—just ask Mayor Cole. No one in The City of Ember is immune to the siren call of greed: some people are greedy for attention or affection, while others want physical things to enjoy, like fancy foods or colored pencils. How each character handles their greed—whether it's with shame, pride, regret, or carelessness—says a lot about them. So next time you find yourself hungrily wanting something, think carefully about your next move.

Questions About Greed

  1. What do you think Looper is greedier for—money or nice things? What makes you say so?
  2. Who is the least greedy character in the book? How can you tell?
  3. Are the antagonists the only greedy characters in the book? Who else is greedy, and how does that greed manifest?
  4. How do Lina's feelings about greed evolve throughout the book?

Chew on This

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

Being greedy is okay; it's how you deal with it that matters. That's why we like Lina—she's good at managing her wants. The mayor? Not so much.

Greed is what happens when you act on selfishness. When you combine it with power, which the mayor has, disaster ensues.

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