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The City of Ember
The City of Ember
by Jeanne DuPrau
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The City of Ember Theme of Youth

Ah, to be young again. But hopefully not in The City of Ember. Ember's not such a bad place when everything is working and there aren't any shortages, but for an imaginative kid, it's awfully dull. There isn't much color in the place, nor are there great big spaces to run around in. On the plus side, you're done with school when you turn twelve—but that's when you have to get a job, ugh. Life in Ember is hard, so sometimes it seems like kids are the only characters who still have any spark left in them. Lina and Doon are still really lively and hopeful, but we have to wonder, how long will their innocence last?

Questions About Youth

  1. Who seems more naïve, Lina or Doon? Why?
  2. What are typical activities for kids in Ember? Do you think these are good ways for kids to spend their time?
  3. When do Lina and Doon begin to show signs of growing up?
  4. What do kids in Ember learn in school? And what do you make of the fact that they start their working lives when they're just twelve?

Chew on This

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

The only thing worse than being a kid in Ember is being an adult in Ember.

Not to be a downer or anything, but even someone with as lively a personality as Poppy will eventually have the life crushed out of them by the experience of living in Ember.

Next Page: Memory and The Past
Previous Page: Dreams, Hopes, and Plans

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