Study Guide

Burn Suffering

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Chapter 1

Her pain is inside of her like a heavy stone that has been laid on her chest. Guilt, loss, betrayal. (1.82)

Pressia's guilty for saving Bradwell, she's lost her mother and grandfather, and she's been betrayed by the Dome. Ouch, talk about pain.

Chapter 2

It's like being on tour with his father's urn—a grief tour. (2.8)

Here, Partridge actually has to pretend to be suffering. This "grief tour" is for his father, the man he killed. So he's not really grieving for his father at all.

Chapter 4

The grief comes at him like an assembly line […] His own sadness is so fraught with anger that it barely counts as grief, so he has to accept theirs. (4.1)

Partridge is sad at his father's funeral. He's sad because now he has no one left; his father killed his mother, and then he killed his father. What a family.

Chapter 8

"My daughters died first. My wife died of despair."

"We know despair," Pressia says. (8.61)

Huh. That's not depressing or anything.

He imagines himself as light—not just without the weight of his brother but without the weight of his life (8.8)

El Capitan suffers throughout his whole life after the Detonations — sure, he has Helmud on his back. But he also suffers from the guilt of killing so many people in the past.

Chapter 10

Partridge has seen too many people die—his brother, his mother. Their deaths flash in front of his eyes—bright with blood. (10.33)

Partridge is a victim of extreme trauma, and this trauma leads to extreme suffering. Yes, he's a Pure, so he's not suffering from the Detonations… but his emotional suffering is immense.

Chapter 13

She's been scared of death for so long that it doesn't hold as much power over her as it once did. (13.1)

Pressia's actually been around death for so long now that she's become desensitized to it. Her suffering actually has a limit.

Chapter 21

His homeland has always been burnt and charred but fighting its way back. And now it's as if all of the life and energy and strength that it took to rebuild have been wiped away. (21.6)

Amidst all of the suffering, the wretches always fight their way back, showing great resiliency. So the Dome's way of countering this resiliency is by literally burning their cities to the ground. Ouch.

Chapter 22

The fresh burns and welts and blisters cover the old scars—a layer of fresh pain on old pain. (22.18)

Well, what doesn't kill you makes you stronger.

Chapter 64

She's lost too much […] But her heart beats in her chest and keep beating. It beats her back to life. Her own heart will not surrender. And so this isn't the end. This is only another start. (64.248)

The last line of the book is a great model for Pressia's suffering; it shows how hurt she is, but how strong she's become. Suffering is often followed by great strength.

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