Study Guide

Pure Power

By Julianna Baggott


Chapter 2

People often think Partridge knows more than everyone else. He's Ellery Willux's son. (2.11)

Partridge isn't smart. He isn't athletic. He isn't popular. But people still think he knows more than anyone else. Why? Because his father holds power.

Chapter 5

It dawns on her that if she's heard of Bradwell, OSR has to know that he exists. (5.21)

Bradwell has the idea that OSR thinks he is dead, but Pressia knows he's wrong. No privacy outside of the Dome = no power. The power is all in the hands of the Dome and OSR.

Chapter 16

She's his guide and she doesn't want to tell him too much because she wants him to rely on her, to need her, and maybe to become indebted. (16.81)

Pressia knows that having Partridge rely on her gives her control over him. He may be richer and more physically fit, but he's still basically in the palm of Pressia's hand.

Chapter 18

Sometimes Ingership orders El Capitan to play The Game, letting one of the weak recruits loose so El Capitan can hunt the recruit down like a sick deer. (18.18)

Not only does El Capitan have dominion over the weak recruits, but Ingership has dominion over El Capitan. Even the most powerful figures in Pure are under someone else's thumb.

Chapter 25

This uniform makes her feel solid, protected. She's part of an army. She has backup. (25.2)

Protection can go a long way in a post-apocalyptic world, and so can the safety of numbers.

Chapter 42

"Pressia Belze will understand the message we're sending. It might help to convince her to refocus her loyalties. You can tell her that's all we have left." (42.86)

What's in the box? Here is one of the most sadistic parts of the whole book; Ellery knows that most of Pressia's hope is still alive because her grandfather is still alive. So what does he do? He sends a piece of her grandfather to her. It's almost like a form of blackmail.

Chapter 49

Bradwell, Pressia, El Capitan and his brother— these are his friends now, his own herd. (49.4)

Power is almost impossible to hold alone; that's why having a solid group of friends can take you a long way. Did you expect Partridge to find his mother by himself? Ha—right. The kid can't even figure out a riddle.

"They've got a switch that they can flip, and if they do, her head will explode" […] Partridge realizes that he still fights the idea that humans are capable of such evil. (49.39)

Pressia is pretty much powerless—and hopeless—at this point. You can't blame her though: she does sort of have a remote-controlled bomb in her head.

Chapter 59

The soldiers look anxious; they keep their eyes on Ingership and El Capitan, unsure who might bark an order at them next (59.28).

Stuck in a sticky situation? Feel like there's no right answer? That means you have no power. Checkmate.

Bradwell is so big and loud, and she's not sure how, but she feels like she's gotten at him somehow. (17.173)

Here's another example of how Pressia uses her mental strength to overcome a physically stronger individual. Just because Bradwell's big, that doesn't mean he's invincible. Think about that study question again: is it better to have mental or physical strength?