Study Guide

Legend Patriotism

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Thomas may be several years younger than Metias and a subordinate on his patrol, but he's more disciplined than anyone I know. Sometimes I wish I had that much discipline. He probably disapproves of my stunts more than Metias does. (1.2.36)

Thomas may have a great deal of patriotism and loyalty to the Republic, but it definitely doesn't mean that it's a good thing. June's better off with what she has—which is a sense of humanity and compassion.

We could hear the loudspeakers outside playing the Republic's national pledge. When they got to the part mentioning our president, Metias stood and saluted in the direction of the capital. (1.4.2)

The folks at the Republic are rather serious about showing their allegiance to the Republic all the time. Does that mean that everyone believes in what the Republic is preaching, though?

"Thank you for coming," I say. "It means a lot. I know Metias would be proud that he gave his life for his country." (1.6.7)

What a lie. Metias didn't give his life for his country at all—his country forcibly took life away from him.

When the Elector Primo's name comes on, we salute toward the capital. I mumble the pledge under my breath, but stay silent in the last two passages when the street police aren't looking my way. (1.7.6)

Day's gotten to the point where he's pretty jaded to the Republic's ways. He can't bring himself to fully go through the motions anymore.

I tilt my head a little as I look at the spy. I already hate him as much as I hate anything about the Colonies—he's not affiliated with the Patriots, that's for sure, but that just makes him more of a coward. (1.10.3)

In the Republic, everyone's trained to hate dissenters. Even though June doesn't know this "spy" personally, she's been well trained by the military to hate him with all her being.

There's our obligatory portrait of the Elector hanging on the wall, surrounded by a handful of our own photos, as if he were a member of our family. (1.13.45)

Yikes—like with a lot of dictatorships in history, the new Republic has citizens who are encouraged to pretty much worship the Elector Primo. That never makes for a good power dynamic.

"[…] So I thought it fitting that I congratulate you in person. If we had more patriotic young people like you, with minds as sharp as yours, we'd have won the war against the Colonies long ago. Wouldn't you agree?" (2.2.31)

In the Republic, what is truly valued is loyalty to the cause. It doesn't really actually matter how brilliant or how creative individuals are—what really matters is that young people show the appropriate amount of patriotism.

"Few people ever kill for the right reasons, June," he said after a long silence. "Most do it for the wrong reasons. I just hope you never have to be in either category." (2.10.98)

Metias recognizes—even before he finds out the Republic's dirty secrets—that killing because you're told to is a very bad thing. He can't quite let himself get over that little girl's death because he did it on an order without even thinking it through.

I don't move for the next few hours. When the Republic's pledge starts up outside, I can hear the people on the streets below chanting along, but I don't bother to stand. I don't salute when the Elector Primo's name comes up. (2.10.100)

June, who was such a good patriotic soldier before, can't even bring herself to go through the motions of the pledge anymore. Why doesn't it make her feel good anymore?

The Colonies. Not long ago they had seemed like the greatest enemy in the world. "Okay." (2.18.23)

Because the truth has come out, June has fully switched her allegiances and she doesn't hate the Colonies anymore. She wants to join them in order to fight back against the Republic.

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