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Analysis

Literary Devices in The City of Ember

Symbolism, Imagery, Allegory

Setting

We know that the Builders intended Ember to be inhabited for around two hundred years, maybe a little more, depending on how severe the damage to the earth from the expected war/apocalypse/Harlem-S...

Narrator Point of View

In The City of Ember, we only get a glimpse inside two character's brains for the most part. These two are, you guessed it, Lina and Doon. Through them, we get a glimpse of what life is like in Emb...

Genre

Seeing as the two main characters are young (in the 12ish range), they make the typical mistakes that young people would—imagining themselves pitted against all of society, thinking that they're...

Tone

When you're a kid in Ember, your life isn't all fun and games (well, except for the parts that are). To Doon and Lina, pressing issues like saving their city affect their attitudes towards everythi...

Writing Style

Fancy words? We don't need no stinkin' fancy words. The style of The City of Ember gets plenty across using simple and direct language. Like when Lina asks Granny what pineapple was:"It was yellow...

What's Up With the Title?

The City of Ember is, you guessed it, about a city named—drumroll, please—Ember. But why call it that instead of Lina and Doon's Excellent Adventure or Lina in Emberland? One reason is that the...

What's Up With the Ending?

At the very very end, Mrs. Murdo is walking alone. The message that Lina and Doon toss down from the upper world falls at her feet, and she begins to untie it (and, presumably, to read it).Let's re...

Tough-o-Meter

Recommended for kids nine and up, The City of Ember is written in an easy-to-understand way. The two protagonists are both kids in the 12-ish range, and since we see things through their eyes, we s...

Plot Analysis

The Builders' Intentions; The Job LotteryFrom page one we learn that Ember is a carefully designed city, made by the Builders to protect the people in it for a certain span of time. When we jump in...

Trivia

Even the craziest of doomsday scenarios can have a grain of truth. Jeanne DuPrau got the basic idea for the book from growing up in the 1950s, when people were worried about the effects of a nuclea...

Steaminess Rating

Everything in here is appropriate for kids. There's not so much as smoldering glance or a kiss. This makes sense as our protagonists, Lina and Doon, are twelve and don't really seem to be at the cr...

Allusions

Because Ember was deliberately constructed as a refuge from our messed-up, disaster-headed world, there aren't many references to things from our world in it. The original citizens of Ember weren't...
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