Study Guide

Ready Player One Perseverance

By Ernest Cline

Perseverance

Chapter 1
Wade Owen Watts a.k.a. Parzival

I was still better off than most of the kids in Africa. [...] My life wasn't so bad. (1.38)

Wade has a way of rationalizing his world to keep from getting too depressed about it. Although we're not sure that an energy crisis is going to affect people who have been living without modern conveniences for centuries the same way it affects Americans today.

Chapter 6
Wade Owen Watts a.k.a. Parzival

I read every novel by every single one of Halliday's favorite authors. (6.6)

That means that Wade's read around 400 books in about four years. In addition to watching all that TV, all those movies, and listening to all that music. That's a lot of devotion to culture from 60 years before his time. That would be like us watching Casablanca 20 times a week. How in the world has he found the time?

Chapter 9
Art3mis a.k.a. Samantha Evelyn Cook

"I don't know [if I can save the world]. Maybe not. But I'm gonna give it a shot." (9.141)

Even when something is against all odds, Art3mis gives it a try. She's also talking about the real world—planet Earth—not the OASIS, which is the only world Wade is concerned with.

Chapter 10
Wade Owen Watts a.k.a. Parzival

If there was already another gunter [...] my plan was to make a run for it, then steal a car and drive [...] to the next identical copy of Middletown. And then the next, until I found an instance of Halliday's house that was unoccupied. (10.9)

Early on in the Hunt, Wade shows his intention to go to any lengths and devote any amount of time to finding the egg. Even though this is a digital car he's planning on stealing, if the Hunt required him to hotwire and steal a real car, he'd figure out a way.

Chapter 11
Wade Owen Watts a.k.a. Parzival

I had watched WarGames over three dozen times. (11.9)

That's pretty much three days straight with Matthew Broderick. The only other person with the same level of perseverance is Sarah Jessica Parker, and more power to her.

Chapter 16
Wade Owen Watts a.k.a. Parzival

I made a silent vow not to go outside again until I had completed my quest. I would abandon the real world altogether until I found the egg. (16.28)

Not that Wade was exactly an upstanding member of society to begin with, and his never going outside again doesn't really mean anything because he never went outside in the first place. What this shows is his extreme devotion to the quest.

Chapter 17
Wade Owen Watts a.k.a. Parzival

My obsession with finding Halliday's Easter egg was gradually being supplanted by my obsession with Art3mis. (17.185)

Wade perseveres when it comes to relationships, too. Even though Art3mis doesn't want to team up with him, doesn't want to be his girlfriend, and sometimes doesn't want anything to do with him period, Wade doesn't give up. And he gets the girl in the end.

Chapter 21
Wade Owen Watts a.k.a. Parzival

I wanted to win the contest more than ever. Not just for the money. I wanted to prove myself to Art3mis. (21.16)

At first, it's easy for Wade to keep going. He's number one on the scoreboard, kind of full himself, or at the very least confident. After months pass without finding the Jade key, he starts to give up. Once Art3mis finds it, it wouldn't have been surprising if he had just given up altogether, but instead it drives him more.

Chapter 30
Wade Owen Watts a.k.a. Parzival

I felt like a convict in an old prison movie, returning to my cell each night to tunnel through the wall with a teaspoon. (30.52)

Wade is like a little digital version of Tim Robbins in The Shawshank Redemption, another story of triumph against impossible odds. At this point in the story, Wade has willingly allowed himself to be imprisoned by IOI in order to pull off a plan that he's not even 100% sure if it'll work. Now that's a commitment to a cause. All that's missing is him spinning in the rain after he escapes.

Chapter 33
Ogden Morrow

"Even though the Sixers have done everything to stack the odds against you, somehow you four have persevered." (33.15)

Og recognizes the effort Wade and his friends have gone to for this quest. Maybe that's why he never stepped in to help them before this moment: he realized they could do it by themselves.