Study Guide

Prince Maxon Schreave in The Selection

By Kiera Cass

Prince Maxon Schreave

If Aspen is America's personal Han Solo-esque dreamboat, then what is Maxon? Her noble Luke Skywalker? Her classy Lando Calrissian? Her—gasp—Jar Jar?

Okay, we know—we can't necessarily frame every issue in Star Wars terms. Regardless, you can learn a lot about Maxon by comparing him to America's other love, Aspen, as well as America's own preconceived notions of Illéa's crown prince.

Small Beginnings

Let's be real: America's preconceived notions about Maxon aren't too pretty. While watching the royal family give an address on the Illéa Capitol Report, America notes that Maxon is pretty cute but looks so "uptight" that he "seemed more like a painting than a person" (4.18). Not cute. To make things worse, state officials make it clear that America must do anything Maxon asks (yes—anything), which makes her assume that prince isn't just stiff and boring, but a legit monster.

It takes about a day for Maxon to shatter these preconceptions. Let us to count the ways:

  • He lets her into the garden while she's having a panic attack, despite it being firmly against the rules.
  • He responds with patience and compassion when she insults him to his face.
  • He allows her to stay at the palace knowing that she has feelings for someone else, saying that they can instead be friends.
  • He gets her several pairs of pants even after she loses a playful bet.

That's not too shabby for a "friend," huh?

It's a Gigantic Elephant, Guys

Of course, the elephant in the room is that Maxon is clearly crazy about America. America has a growing crush, too, but she's still too hung up on Aspen to fully embrace it. In a hilarious bit of irony, America partly wins Maxon's heart because of this detachment: it allows her to approach him with a sense of honesty and authenticity that's in short supply among the Selected. After all, this is a stressful experience for Maxon, too, so he needs all of the genuine comfort he can get.

So how does Maxon convince America to take the leap? It's simple: he starts a social welfare program. Classic pickup technique. See, America has a conversation with Maxon about the reality of life outside of the palace, of the awful struggles experienced by the lower castes. Check it:

"Have you ever been hungry, Maxon? [...] If there was absolutely no food here, nothing for your mother or father, [...] what would you do?" (17.165)

As a result, Maxon gains a new perspective on life in his country and forms a food assistance program to ease his people's struggles. This is huge for him. Although Maxon has talked a big game in the past about his idea for helping the people of his country, this is the first time one of those ideas has actually come to fruition. With this, Maxon proves himself to be a fundamentally good man to America, allowing her to open herself up to his love, even if she still has reservations.

Hanging From Cliffs for Fun and Profit

As we know, however, this isn't quite a "happily ever after"—Aspen's sudden reappearance throws a wrench into the growing relationship between America and Maxon, forcing America to finally confront the two loves of her life. That's a tough spot for Maxon. Still, if he's the guy we think he is, he's not going to pressure America to do things his way—he'll be right there waiting whenever she's ready.