Legend by Marie Lu: The Role of Revolution in the Analysis of Character Traits

(Essay Date 17 June 2013) In this essay, D.R. analyzes the role of a revolution in establishing the traits of main characters within a novel. D.R. suggests that Marie Lu institutes the personalities of the two main characters exceptionally well, allowing a reader to better their understanding of the characters whose perspectives are brought to light every other chapter.

In the novel Legend, the main characters June and Day face challenging dilemmas as they realize their actions have started a revolution against the Republic. As the two characters become infamous for escaping from the Republic’s clutches as June helped save Day from his execution, the pair undergo traumatic events and eventually hide in the outskirts of the Republic. The actions of the couple during the revolution build their traits and personalities. Identical to the concept of foil, the revolution allows the reader to understand the characters and their motives.
The character June Iparis is built with the understanding that she is the nation’s top agent and although she is quite young she is already in college and receives straight A’s without having to lift a finger. The author establishes that June is the perfect prodigy who, to her brother’s disdain, is always getting into trouble trying to outdo herself by scaling walls in short periods of time. The author offers a limited basis for June’s characterization and she easily could be written off as a typical high class snob who thinks she is smarter and stronger than those around her.
However, after June became an agent she realized the Republic’s ways were wrong and aids Day who used to be her enemy. The act of saving Day from execution and turning her back on the people she used to trust showed her commitment to doing the right thing and although she is a true prodigy, she is not a military toy that can be ordered to do anything. The help June provided Day secured the authenticity of their relationship and proved June’s intelligence is not only located in her mind but in her heart as well. She trusted her heart and excelled in making the correct choice for herself, Day and her government. The revolution happening around her forced her to question the validity of the public’s concerns with the Republic. She had to choose who she would become and the mere fact that she risked everything she had to save Day showed more of her bravery, intelligence, loyalty, trustworthiness, and heart. Without the revolution, June would have never developed in the story and there would be no story to continue with if June did not become more than a prodigy. The revolution that occurred in the novel Legend brought to light the characteristics of one of the main characters: June Iparis.
The other Main character in the novel was Day or Daniel Altan Wing. Day grew up poor having to worry constantly about keeping enough food in the house for dinners and officers who could steal the food if they felt that the family was disrespectful or unwilling to be under inspection. Day was tested in a lab when he was 10 years old, almost killing him while he was at the hand of the Republic and was discarded when the scientists thought he died. He led his life alone on the streets, fending for himself and barely surviving. Day became a con and criminal, holding a firm spot on the Republic’s most wanted. Day’s life would have continued like this until he was caught.
Alike June’s development, Day’s involvement in the revolution changed the view that readers had currently seen him in. Day was caught and instead of dying at the mercy of a firing squad controlled by the Republic, he was saved by June. When he was saved it showed the readers that Day was worth saving. Day was afterward conveyed as kind, hard-working, trustworthy, stubborn, but loveable. The revolution turned Day into a celebrity and gained him many followers and supporters. From the revolution, Day gained insight, intelligence and humility. If the revolution had not occurred, Day may not have lived to see his characters full potential. Day’s characteristics were formed in the novel Legend as a result ofa revolution that occurred in the story’s plot.
Overall, the novel by Marie Lu consisted of a story plot about a revolution that would shape and build the character traits of two of the main characters. The revolution was mandatory for the development of the characters and in the long run, furthered the knowledge of the reader about the characters’ personalities.
(D.R. 2013)
Prodigy by Marie Lu: Choosing Sides

(Essay Date 17 June 2013) In this essay, D.R. examines the common theme throughout the novel Prodigy of choosing sides. D.R. challenges Marie Lu’s belief that the characters in the novel said author wrote, should be forced to choose between two opposing sides.

Do societies expect people to choose sides? Right or wrong. Black or white. Republic or Colonies. In Marie Lu’s book, Prodigy, all of the characters in the novel are forced to choose what side of the revolution they support. They must choose to support the Republic or the Colonies who are supported by extreme Patriots. The main characters as well as minor characters choose sides without a large amount of deliberation.
June and Day, the main characters in the novel express difficulty deciding where they fall in to the opposing sides of the governments and while spending time on each side, come to trust a reformed Republic. The author gave the characters the option of accepting or denying the two given choices without there being an in-between or middle ground. Although, the main characters took a longer consideration process and spent time deciding and trying each side of government to see which one was best, the general public in the book took less persuasion.
The Public follows Day because they see him as an invincible man who could stand up to authorities without paying the consequences. They easily agreed to support him the minute they saw the bloody and bruised image of him on the day of his execution. Without much coaxing they dyed a strip of their hair red symbolizing the streak of blood in Day’s pale blond hair. Their clear support for him started by creating a new fashion statement and soon they were in full support of Day and idolized anything he said. Day had become infamous.
The crowd and public in the novel are forced to choose sides and it was almost alarming how easily the people in the book decided on one. “Silence. Then, a few chants. More join in. they raised their eyes and fists to me, their shouts ceaseless, a tide of change. “Then raise yours voices for your Elector, as I have, and he will raise his for you!” The cheers are deafening, drowning out anything and everything. The young Elector keeps his eyes on me, and I realize, at last, that June is right. I don’t want to see the Republic collapse. I want to see it change (Marie Lu 346). The people only did what they were told and when they rebelled against the government it was still only to follow a different set of people. I suggest that the main characters had more development and therefore the reader can see the thought process of the character and see how they decided. Whereas the people were just supporters easily swayed and one over by whoever made the more convincing argument.
Consequently, the overwhelming majority of the characters in the novel chose to support a type of government from only two choices. This stems from choosing good or evil or right or wrong. The choice not always being clear which one actually is correct, but what counts is the fact that in Marie Lu’s book, the characters are almost mindless when deciding on a side to choose. The author offers only two sides and the theme is strung throughout the entire novel. If one were a character in this book, one would have to choose between being a supporter of the Republic or the Colonies. But Marie Lu offers a way out by creating a reformed Republic with different values then the old Republic and values that would appease the colonies too.
All in all, in Prodigy, a novel by Marie Lu, the characters are offered two options and one of which they must choose. This small detail detracts from the characters’ overall personality and limits the characters’ potential. Marie Lu does offer a satisfying solution to the problem by compromising the Republic to create a reformed Republic but this does not mean that the reader would not pick up on the fact that the author’s characters need little persuasion to support just about anyone.
(D.R. 2013)

Legend by Marie Lu: Characterization Revealing a Theme in the Novel

In the following essay, T.M. analyzes how the characterization of the main characters in Legend contributes to the theme of rich versus poor in the novel.

In the novel, Legend by Marie Lu, one of the main themes, rich versus poor, is explored. Through point of view, structure and style, and specific details the author is able to characterize June and Day, which in turn alludes to one the the novels main themes.
Legend is told from two different points of view. June is an extremely intelligent teenage girl from a rich family, who at fifteen years old is already in college, training to become a Republic soldier. Day is a fugitive who snakes in the alleyways of the Republic, committing crimes or pranks against the Republic and looking out for his poor family. From these two different perspectives, the reader receives a better understanding of the Republic and its attitude toward the wealthy class and the impoverished class. The reader is also able to get more insight of each characters personalities and their ways of thinking.
The characterization of June and Day can also be discovered in the style and structure of each chapter. June and Day’s chapters alternate throughout the novel. In the chapters from Days point of view, the font is gold in color and the shapes of the letters are softer. The tone and sentence structure are also unique in Days chapters. His tone is conversational and his sentences are long with numerous details. Chapters from Junes perspective are always started with the time, location, and temperature. She is always calculating and her tone is very analytical. Similar to Day, June also picks up on many details, however she states them in short, choppy sentences. Almost stating them like a robot, for example, “Whoever hit him with those knife either stabbed him from close range or has an incredibly strong throwing arm. Right-handed. Impressive aim. The knife is one of a pair, correct? See this pattern painted on the bottom of the blade? It cuts off abruptly” (Lu 43). The font in Junes chapters is black and sharp creating an effect completely different from Days chapters. The difference in the style and form in each chapter helps identify the foil between June and Day, and also contributes to the theme.
The selection of details is also an important contribution to the theme of rich versus poor. Throughout Legend, the reader learns that June is a well-off orphan; her parents were killed in a “car accident” prior to the novel and her brother was killed early in the novel. So, June is all alone. Despite this, June still thrives in a wealthy community and receives education from a prestigious military school. Day on the other hand still has family members to look out for. However, his family lives in one of the poor sections of the Republic. They barely get by and are often exposed to illness. Another difference between the two characters are their Trial scores. According to the Republic, Day “failed” the Trial, while June earned a perfect score. This detail in particular reveals that the Republic favors the wealthy. In actuality, Day also received a perfect score, however the Republic marked him as a failure because he was poor. This way he would not be able to have success in life, and provide hope for other unwealthy individuals. This fact refers back to the major theme- rich vs poor. Through the foil between Day and June, Marie Lu reveals how differently the two social classes are regarded by the Republic.
In Legend, the differences of the two main characters, June and Day are highlighted, creating a foil. This foil contributes to one of the main themes in the novel. June identifies with the rich and Day is part of the poor. The characterization of these two people reveals how each class is treated by the Republic.

(T.M. 2014)