Study Guide

Burn Identity

By Julianna Baggott

Identity

Chapter 13

She lifts the doll head. Who would she be without it? More herself or less? (13.59)

Our answer: much, much less. Pressia's been struggling with the whole doll head issue for all three books now, and we can't help but agree with Bradwell when he says it's part of her. Scars are physical reminders of where are person came from in this trilogy—without the doll head, Pressia wouldn't be Pressia.

She doesn't really even know who she is. Neither does Bradwell. Does anyone? (13.60)

Pressia struggles with identity problems, even though she might seem like she's sure of herself. She seems to think that Bradwell doesn't know who he is — but Bradwell has a pretty firm grasp on reality.

Chapter 14

He's not sure who exactly he's supposed to be. He feels like a fraud. He knows he'll give himself over to this lie. (14.26)

Partridge isn't cut out to be a leader, and he starts to realize that pretty quickly. But since he is the leader, regardless of whether he's suited for it or not, he should at least try to be a little optimistic. You don't want your president feeling like a fraud.

Chapter 21

"I was good," Helmud says, as if that sums it up. Once, long ago, before the Detonations, they were all good. (21.24)

Before the Detonations, everyone was good — even El Capitan. So as you can imagine, El Capitan wishes he could go back to the way it was, back when he wasn't a hated killer.

Hastings and Bradwell are wondering what the hell happened to everything they once knew to be true. (21.21)

Sometimes it's not your fault for having an identity crisis; at this moment in the book, Bradwell and Hastings look back at the people they used to be. Now that they realize that those people are gone, they start to question who they are.

Chapter 22

She feels older now. The dead trees, like monuments to the destruction, stand out to her as individual. Each has suffered its own. Each has been stunned into being something it never was intended to be. (22.5)

Here Pressia actually starts to show signs of a strengthened identity. She feels older, wiser, and sees the individuality of everything now. Seeing each tree as individual is a sign of her coming of age.

Chapter 30

This isn't his life. Power—he has all this supposed power, and yet he's powerless. (30.46)

Finally, Partridge has all the power in the world. He's the president of the Dome — but, he really isn't powerful at all. So what does that make him? Partridge feels like nothing right now. He's just a kid being pushed around by his dead father.

Chapter 33

"It's just a doll."

"It's part of you, isn't it?" the mother with the white hair says. "It defines you completely, and then again it doesn't define you at all—like motherhood." (33.38)

Pressia wants that doll hand to disappear so badly. But the doll hand is a part of her. We repeat: without the doll hand, Pressia isn't Pressia.

Chapter 37

He was so sure of himself at that mic telling the truth, and now he's drowning in doubt. (37.58)

Have you ever been deep in the middle of an argument, only to realize that you're wrong? Yep, Partridge sort of feels like that. Except this argument is so big that he doesn't even feel like Partridge anymore.

Chapter 41

I'm an impersonator impersonating myself. (41.34)

Ah the clear signs of identity crisis. Who is Partridge anyway? For all he knows, he's been impersonating himself all along. This sort of seems like a paradoxical phrase — so Partridge is pretty lost at this point.