Study Guide

John in Legend

By Marie Lu

John

Even though John is soft-spoken and doesn't appear much in Legend, it's clear that he's a loyal brother who will do anything to help Day out. He understands why Day is so frustrated with the Republic; in fact, he's just as frustrated himself. He might be dissenting in ways that are much quieter than Day, but he wants to help out nonetheless:

"You're being careful, right?" he asks. In the dark, we can pass for twins. Same hair, same eyes. Same expression. "I don't want you putting yourself in unnecessary danger. If there's any way for me to help you, I'll do it." (1.17.19)

In the end, John makes the ultimate sacrifice for Day and takes a stand against the Republic when he takes Day's place and is executed in his stead. He does so quietly—as is his way—and without much fanfare. John seems to really know that actions speak louder than words.

John isn't Day's only brother, though. Their youngest brother is a kid by the name of Eden, which is a biblical reference (more on that in our discussion of Eden elsewhere in this section)—and because of this, we can't help but think of John the Baptist.

And the thing is, the Bible doesn't do diddly-squat to discourage this comparison. For instance, in the Bible John the Baptist baptizes Jesus, which is a pretty big-brotherly thing to do. John the Baptist also spends a whole lot of time and energy letting folks know how awesome Jesus is, even though he's pretty awesome himself—just like how John in Legend prefers to let Day lead the way. And though John the Baptist was killed on purpose, it's worth noting that—like John in Legend—his death was directly connected to the desire of those in power to discourage disobedience and revolution.