Study Guide

Fuse Insects

By Julianna Baggott


Buzz Buzz

We'll be totally frank: we're not the biggest insect fans. Ladybugs are… tolerable. Bees are… sort of cute. But everything else in the insect realm? Meh. We would be totally happy if we never saw another beetle again. (And don't get us started on spiders.)

But in the world of Fuse, insects are more than just annoying little creepy-crawlies. In fact, insects mean two very different things, depending on whether you live inside or outside of the Dome.

Outside the dome, insects a symbol of the natural world. They're annoying, but also beautiful. When the Detonations hit, people tried to catch fireflies:

The people who touched those little flames—even if they only held one for a second, trying to bring it back for their dying kid to see—didn't last long. (50.17)

The reason people wanted to grasp these fireflies so desperately was for their beauty. When the Detonations hit, almost all beauty vanished. The world became a wasteland, and all that was natural seemed to fade away. When people saw fireflies beaming in the night, they would flock to their beauty like moths to a streetlight.

But inside the Dome, insects are treated like total vermin… even the beautiful ones. After all, the world of the Dome is the complete opposite of what's natural. The Dome is artificial, inhumane, and highly sanitized, and insects are ugly reminders of the outside world:

But insects are dealt with harshly. The grounds are laced with pesticides. (39.5)

For the people inside the Dome, insects are seen as an extension of the contamination left by the Detonations. In fact, for the Pures, an insect is like a wretch, and a wretch is like an insect. Both wretches and insects are considered pests that must be destroyed.