Study Guide

Legend Poverty

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Oh boy—things are not looking so great for the citizens of the Republic of America in Legend. Even though families like June's get to live in fancy homes with really over-the-top clothes (she has a dress with diamonds stitched onto it), most people are living in relative misery and poverty. 

Take Day's family for example: they live in the slums and can only afford a chicken when they've worked overtime all week and have sold their good clothes.

In this book poverty symbolizes how the Republic of America has failed its people; it hasn't made it so that most people can live comfortable, safe lives at all. All of Los Angeles (where the story takes place) is pretty much overrun with slums and people desperate to find their next meal. So much for progress.

Questions About Poverty

  1. How does the Republic of America compare to the current United States economically?
  2. Why are the children who fail the Trial taken away from their families? What is the economic impact of this?
  3. Where does the government get its money?
  4. Why are Day and Tess stealing and saving up so much money?

Chew on This

June used to see the poor people of the slums in an unfavorable light, but her time chasing Day really makes her rethink her position. She comes to see the poor as people—just like her—because she spends so much time around them.

To the Republic, the poor are a disposable group to be used for governmental gain. Instead of taking care of poor people, the new Republic sees them as a group to be exploited for labor and experimented upon.

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