Study Guide

Beautiful Creatures Freedom and Confinement

By Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl

Freedom and Confinement

I didn't want to end up like my dad, living in the same house, in the same small town I'd grown up in, with the same people who had never dreamed their way out of here. (9.02[1].50)

What do you think: is staying in the same town you grew up in such a bad thing? P.S. We doubt Ethan's going to be in any hurry to leave as long as Lena is in town.

Two years, eight months, and counting. I had to get out of this town. (9.02[3].62)

High school graduation! Count down to freedom.

The changing number written on her hand. She was counting down to her birthday. (9.12[2].167)

This countdown isn't to freedom—it's to confinement. To drive the point home, Lena wears a prison jumpsuit with her birthdate on it.

The more she ran, the more determined I was to follow. (9.12[2].176)

Lena herself is a symbol of freedom to Ethan. He wants to follow her right out of Gatlin and never look back.

"I've never had the same house, or the same room for more than a few years, and sometimes I feel like the little pieces of me on this chain are all I have." (9.24.45)

Lena has been passed around a lot by her family. While Ethan longs to move, Lena is just searching for a place to call home. In the meantime, though, she carries her home with her around her neck.

History was a b**** sometimes. You couldn't change where you were from. But still, you didn't have to stay there. You didn't have to stay stuck in the past. (10.13.3)

We've all been stuck in the past, right? But here, it seems like Lena and Ethan are stuck by the past.

"She'll be struck by my good looks and charm and musical talent. [...] Then she'll give in and dance with me and follow me up to New York after graduation, to be my groupie." (12.08.118)

Link has big dreams for himself and Coach Cross, a high-school teacher five years his senior. It seems like this guy hasn't yet learned about the fine line between dream and delusion.

Lena told me about Barbados, where the water and the sky meet in a thin blue line until you couldn't tell which was which. (2.05.4)

Lena tells Ethan about places he's only seen in books. Or movies. Maybe one day she can make these dreams a reality for him.

Nobody ever left Gatlin. (12.07.13)

Is Ethan exaggerating, or is something literally keeping Gatlin's residents from leaving? Honestly, we wouldn't be surprised.

To everyone else, school was prison. To Lena, it was freedom. (12.19.1)

Getting an education is something too many people—including probably 99% of Jackson High—take for granted.

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