"Sometimes I wish I could act like everyone else, but I can't change who I am. I've tried." (9.12.71)
Lena feels fated to be different than all the other girls in school, as though that's a bad thing. Shmoop thinks it's actually pretty neat.
"Nothing in my life is a coincidence." (9.12.140)
Lena seems a little young not to believe in coincidence, but Macon echoes that sentiment. It's no coincidence that Lena ended up in Gatlin, is it?
"You're Claimed now. You've found your place in the Order of Things." (10.09.173)
Macon is pretty much telling Ridley, "Tough luck, kid. This is how things were meant to be." Wouldn't it make you angry if, at sixteen, the rest of your life was already decided for you?
"You think that just because she's sweet and innocent now, she'll be Claimed by the Light? That means nothing." (10.09.191)
Good people get angry, you know? Everyone has a little bit of a mean streak, even the nicest old lady you meet. Just check out Betty White. We wouldn't want to cross her in a dark alley.
On one closet door was scrawled, "fate decides." On the other, it said, "until challenged by the fated." (10.09.3)
Ethan is describing all the words Lena has written around her bedroom in black marker. (Good thing Ravenwood isn't a rental or Macon would not be getting his deposit back.) Lena's conflicted about fate. She alternates between being resigned to it (letting fate decide her course) and deciding to fight back.
"That's the biggest load of crap I've ever heard. [...] All that destiny garbage. Nobody can decide what happens to you. Nobody but you." (10.09.135-137)
Ethan is definitely a cheerleader for the Free Will team, giving Lena the defy-your-fate pep talk that she so desperately needs.
"When we're Claimed at sixteen, we become Light or Dark. There is no free will'" (10.09.138).
I had been claimed since birth. I had no more control over my fate than she did. (12.16.20)
Ethan might not ever be Claimed with a capital C, but he is Gatlin born and bred. He's internally conflicted, and the citizens of Gatlin still consider him to be one of them—an insider.
"The thing about fate is, are you the master of your fate, or are the stars?" (12.19.126)
This is the thing about fate. What's your answer?
There was no thin green line that led me to my future anymore. (1.12.13)