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Delirium

Delirium

by Lauren Oliver

Lust Theme

There's a simple four-letter word for the impossibly complex combination of psychology and physiology that gets hearts racing, palms sweating, faces blushing, and more when two people are attracted to one another. Not love. Lust. It can be pretty difficult, if not impossible, to tell the two apart. In Delirium, Lena sure doesn't know the difference. In fact, the word "lust" isn't even used in the book. But the way Alex gets her motor revving before she even knows his last name tells us that it's not simply love that's driving everyone crazy: it's lust, too.

Questions About Lust

  1. Is Lena in love with Alex, or just in lust?
  2. Is love or lust the stronger emotion in Delirium?
  3. Does the Cure cure people of love, or of lust, or both?
  4. Do you think the government (in Delirium) believes love is more dangerous than lust, or vice versa? Why?

Chew on This

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

Lena doesn't seem to be able to differentiate between love and lust, probably because most teenagers (let alone adults) can't either.

Lena is more in lust with Alex than she is in love with him. She hasn't had any time to get to know him; what she's experiencing is simply physical attraction.

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