Cinder

by

Marissa Meyer

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Cinder: Chapter 38 Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
Cinder shocked to learn that she’s Queen Levana’s niece, but she knows that Dr. Erland is telling the truth. Dr. Erland tells her that she’s the only one who can dethrone Queen Levana. He’s been searching for her for many years, knowing that she was a cyborg teenager because her body was badly damaged in the fire that Levana set. Cinder suddenly realizes that Dr. Erland set up the cyborg draft to try and find her—she’s furious that he was willing to sacrifice those people’s lives to do so.
Cinder recognizes another layer of Dr. Erland’s manipulation: the cyborg draft. He likely sacrificed many other cyborgs just to be able to find her. In this way, his secrecy and manipulation caused more harm than good to an already vulnerable population.
Themes
Secrecy and Manipulation Theme Icon
Related Quotes
Cinder asks if Queen Levana knows who she is, and Dr. Erland says that Levana likely does, but she wants to keep Cinder’s identity hidden. Dr. Erland says that Cinder needs to escape to Africa so that he can help her dethrone Levana. Cinder starts to protest that she can’t be a queen, but he assures her that she can do it. After Dr. Erland leaves, Cinder searches for all the information she can find about Princess Selene via her brain interface and feels as if she has no idea who she is anymore. But then she thinks back to the image of Kai in the market, and she knows that she can’t give up yet.
Cinder’s thoughts here reinforce her bravery as well as her perseverance. Even in the face of these shocking revelations about her identity and her uncertainty about ruling, she feels a responsibility to Kai and the society at large to help take Levana out of power.
Themes
Bravery and Sacrifice Theme Icon
Resourcefulness, Kindness, and Perseverance Theme Icon
Related Quotes
Cinder feels a strange electricity course through her as she realizes that she is finally in control of her Lunar gift. She takes the knife out of her hand compartment and removes her ID chip from her wrist. She knows the whole world would be searching for her—for Cinder. But they’ll be looking for a ghost.
The book’s final pages leave Cinder’s story on an ambiguous note: she is leaving behind her identity as Cinder and attaining the power of Lunar glamour. But thus far, the book has suggested that unlike Levana, Cinder will use these powers not to take advantage of others, but to support them. And she will do so not by hiding who she is, but by embracing her true identity as Princess Selene.
Themes
Bravery and Sacrifice Theme Icon
Power, Greed, and Evil Theme Icon
Secrecy and Manipulation Theme Icon
Related Quotes