Cinder

by

Marissa Meyer

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Cinder: Chapter 31 Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
After the market closes, Cinder limps home, grateful that she only has one more night in the apartment. As Pearl dresses, she and Cinder trade sarcastic jabs until Pearl says that she’s going to tell Kai that Cinder is a cyborg. Cinder bristles and says she could have asked Kai to dance with Pearl—he agreed to dance with Peony before she passed away. Pearl angrily tells Cinder that she shouldn’t even use Peony’s name, because it’s Cinder’s fault she was in the junkyard and got sick. Cinder assures Pearl that she loved Peony just as much as Pearl did. 
Pearl’s abuse of Cinder is an extension of Adri’s abuse, as Pearl parrots many of the things that Adri says about Cinder. As Adri completely shirks the responsibility to care for Cinder, she destroys the trust, love, and support that is supposed to define a family and creates an atmosphere where Pearl feels equally free to mistreat Cinder.
Themes
Power, Greed, and Evil Theme Icon
Just then, Adri comes in and commands Cinder to wash their hover during Prince Kai’s coronation. As Cinder does so, she watches some of the coronation coverage via her retina display. Representatives from the other Earthen countries officiate the lavish coronation as Kai vows to govern the Eastern Commonwealth according to its laws and customs, ruling with kindness and patience, and honoring the rights of all people. The European Prime Minister proclaims him the emperor, and the crowd cheers.
Kai again demonstrates the opposite impulse of a leader like Queen Levana: he does not take advantage of the new power that he has been given. Instead, he recognizes that his job is to support the Eastern Commonwealth, not to destroy it or manipulate it for his own political gain.
Themes
Bravery and Sacrifice Theme Icon
Power, Greed, and Evil Theme Icon
Kai then gives a speech, explaining that he wants to serve the people over his tenure. He promises to find a cure for letumosis and to return the country to its former glory. He also addresses the strained relationship between Earth and Luna, hoping that a time of true peace between them is approaching. He says that he will do whatever it takes to ensure the well-being of his country. As the camera pans to Queen Levana, Cinder notes her smug expression.
Kai genuinely wants to serve his people rather than ruling with an iron fist. From his speech, it’s clear that he’s is willing to put the people and the society above himself—demonstrating that he will be a true and just leader.
Themes
Bravery and Sacrifice Theme Icon