Study Guide

Pure Women and Femininity

By Julianna Baggott

Women and Femininity

Chapter 6

Girls don't get coding, something about their delicate reproductive organs, unless they're not okayed for reproduction. (6.32)

The Dome discriminates against women, which isn't surprising seeing that they're so corrupt in every other way. For them, women are only good for reproduction.

Chapter 13

Regardless of whether she gets out or not, there is the stain. Who would allow her to marry into their family now? No one. Even if they did, she wouldn't be permitted to have children. Ill fit for genetic repopulation—the end. (13.5)

And if you can't have children anymore, what do you become? No wonder the women in the rehabilitation center want to rebel; they have close to no rights in the Dome.

Chapter 28

"Are we about to be beaten to death by a car pool?" (28.99)

Real funny, Partridge.

She wasn't going to embrace conservative ideals. She thought it was bulls***, like saying, Aren't we great the way we are! Pretty, feminine, nonthreatening. (28.31)

The feminine feminists are a pretty complicated group of people; they want to be feminine, but not seen as feminine. Why is that?

Partridge knows these women and their fused children are tactical and violent. They are soldiers. (28.108)

Here is what the women outside of the Dome look like: strong, fearless, tough. Don't mess with the mamas.

Partridge has a hard time believing that the people who once lived in these homes were capable of survival. (28.99)

The problem with the Dome's treatment of women is that the men, even the good men like Partridge, are brainwashed into thinking that women are subservient. Ugh, the Dome has it all wrong.

Chapter 29

"We believe in real education for women," Ingership's wife says. "We believe in achievement and empowerment, but why does that have to be at odds with simple feminine virtues—beauty and grace and a dedication to home and family? Why does that mean we have to swing a briefcase and be manly?" (29.19)

This is an example of what the feminine feminists believe in. But Illia is reciting this, which makes us wonder if she is actually being serious. Do you really think she believes in this speech, especially after seeing her stab Ingership with a scalpel?

Chapter 37

"Deaths, they did this to all of us. We used to call them Father or Husband or Mister." (37.38)

Why do you think that men are called "Deaths"? Were the Detonations the result of men and men alone?

"They left us to die and we are forced to carry our children, our children who will never outgrow us, and we will do this forever. Our burden is our love." (37.38)

Taking care of a child is hard enough, but having to take care of them for eternity is almost unfathomable. The mothers' burden reveals how strong they are to actually persevere in this world, and they make other characters' plights almost look easy.

Chapter 59

"No, thanks" […] Lyda glances at Pressia then says calmly, "We'll do what we want." (59.19)

A great moment of feminism. Pressia and Lyda stand up for themselves when Ingership tells them to wait in the parlor. And really, what did we expect? At this point in the novel, we should have seen this response coming.