Cinder

by

Marissa Meyer

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Dr. Erland Character Analysis

Dr. Erland is the head of New Beijing’s letumosis research team. Dr. Erland reveals much of his backstory to Cinder as the novel goes on: he is actually a Lunar fugitive. He fled Luna after Queen Levana killed his daughter, Crescent Moon, who was a shell (someone who’s impervious to glamour, the Lunar ability to telepathically control others). His story reveals several layers of discrimination that he has to combat: Earthens tend to stereotype Lunars as cruel and dishonest, so he has to prove to Cinder that he is trustworthy. He also recognizes the injustice of killing shells simply because they cannot be manipulated by glamour. Dr. Erland meets Cinder after Adri volunteers her for cyborg letumosis research. He runs many tests on Cinder and learns that she is also Lunar; he also reveals to Cinder that her cyborg surgery put a “lock” on her glamour, but that it is slowly coming back. Finally, he divulges to Cinder that she is Princess Selene (Queen Levana’s long-lost niece), whom he wanted to find so that she could overthrow Queen Levana. Learning this, Cinder realizes that he only set up the cyborg draft—which selects one cyborg every day as a research subject—because he knew that Princess Selene was also a cyborg and that she fled to the Eastern Commonwealth. Even though his intentions were good, he also caused major harm to a vulnerable population, underscoring the problems with secrecy and manipulation. Still, Dr. Erland is also self-sacrificial: he experiences severe psychological side effects from refusing to use his glamour on Earthens, and he works tirelessly and does experiments on himself to try and find a letumosis cure.

Dr. Erland Quotes in Cinder

The Cinder quotes below are all either spoken by Dr. Erland or refer to Dr. Erland. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Bravery and Sacrifice Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Feiwel and Friends edition of Cinder published in 2012.
Chapter 4 Quotes

Lunars were a society that had evolved from an Earthen moon colony centuries ago, but they weren’t human anymore. People said Lunars could alter a person’s brain—make you see things you shouldn’t see, feel things you shouldn’t feel, do things you didn’t want to do. Their unnatural power had made them a greedy and violent race, and Queen Levana was the worst of all of them.

Page Number: 43
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 19 Quotes

“It is why Queen Levana is so striking to look at. Some talented Lunars, such as the queen, keep their glamour up all the time. But just as she cannot trick the netscreens, neither can she trick a mirror.”

“So they don’t like mirrors because they don’t want to see themselves?”

“Vanity is a factor but it is more a question of control. It is easier to trick others into perceiving you as beautiful if you can convince yourself you are beautiful. But mirrors have an uncanny way of telling the truth.”

Related Characters: Dr. Erland (speaker), Cinder/Princess Selene (speaker), Queen Levana, Sybil Mira, Prince Kai
Related Symbols: Mirrors
Page Number: 172
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 24 Quotes

Instead of kissing her, he whispered, “Imagine there was a cure, but finding it would cost you everything. It would completely ruin your life. What would. you do?”

The warm air enclosed her. So close, she could catch a faint soapy smell coming from him.

His eyes bored into hers, waiting, a tinge desperate.

Cinder wet her mouth. “Ruin my life to save a million others? It’s not much of a choice.”

His lips parted—she had no choice but to look at them and then immediately back into his eyes. She could almost count the black lashes around them. But then a sadness filtered into his gaze.

“You’re right. There’s no real choice.”

Related Characters: Prince Kai (speaker), Cinder/Princess Selene (speaker), Queen Levana, Nainsi, Dr. Erland, Peony
Page Number: 223
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 25 Quotes

Squinting, she jutted a finger at the doctor. “You did use your mind control on me. When we met. You…you brainwashed me, just like the queen. You made me trust you.”

“Be fair. You were attacking me with a wrench.”

Her anger wavered.

Dr. Erland opened his palms to her, “I assure you, Miss Linh, in the twelve years that I have been on Earth, I have not abused the gift once, and I am paying the price for that decision every day. My mental stability, my psychological health, my very senses are failing me because l refuse to manipulate the thoughts and feelings of those around me. Not all Lunars can be trusted—I know that as well as anyone—but you can trust me.”

Related Characters: Dr. Erland (speaker), Cinder/Princess Selene (speaker), Queen Levana, Prince Kai
Page Number: 241-242
Explanation and Analysis:

“Because she was a shell.” He picked his hat off the desk and analyzed it while he spoke, his fingers tracing the herringbone pattern. “I’d agreed with the laws in the past, thought the shells were dangerous. That our society would fall apart if they were allowed to live. But not my little girl.” An ironic smile twisted up his lips. “After she was born, I wanted to run away, to bring her to Earth, but my wife was even more devoted to Her Majesty than I had been. She wanted nothing to do with the child. And so my little Crescent Moon was taken away, like all the others. He stuffed the hat back onto his head and squinted up at Cinder. “She would be about your age now.”

Related Characters: Dr. Erland (speaker), Cinder/Princess Selene, Queen Levana
Page Number: 245
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 38 Quotes

Releasing the new prosthesis, Cinder covered her ears and buried her face against her knee. The draft. All those cyborgs. So many people convinced that it was the right thing. That it was better them than humans. Once a science project, always a science project.

And he’d only wanted to find her.

Page Number: 382
Explanation and Analysis:

If she didn’t try to stop Levana, what would happen to Kai? Though she tried to block out the question, it continued to plague her, echoing in her thoughts.
Maybe Dr. Erland was right. Maybe she had to run. Maybe she had to try.

She felt for the prosthetic limbs in her lap and wrapped her hands around them. Lifting her head, she looked up at the grate in the prison door. The guard had never closed it.

A tingle passed down her spine. A strange new electricity was thrumming beneath her skin, telling her she wasn’t just a cyborg anymore. She was Lunar now. She could make people see things that weren’t there. Feel things they shouldn’t feel. Do things they didn’t mean to do.

Page Number: 386
Explanation and Analysis:

As her hands stopped shaking, she slid the stiletto knife out from the new titanium-plated finger and maneuvered the blade against her wrist. The cut was still fresh where she’d started to remove her ID chip before, so they would not be able to track her. This time, there was no hesitation.

Soon, the whole world would be searching for her—Linh Cinder.

A deformed cyborg with a missing foot.

A Lunar with a stolen identity.

A mechanic with no one to run to, nowhere to go. But they would be looking for a ghost.

Related Symbols: Cinder’s Mechanical Foot
Page Number: 387
Explanation and Analysis:
Get the entire Cinder LitChart as a printable PDF.
Cinder PDF

Dr. Erland Character Timeline in Cinder

The timeline below shows where the character Dr. Erland appears in Cinder. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 7
Secrecy and Manipulation Theme Icon
Dr. Erland is screening potential cyborg candidates for their research. He decides to give one older man... (full context)
Chapter 8
Bravery and Sacrifice Theme Icon
Secrecy and Manipulation Theme Icon
...gloves and boots; she thinks that she is essentially a machine. From behind a wall, Dr. Erland talks to Cinder, asking her to cooperate. Cinder protests that she didn’t sign up for... (full context)
Stereotypes and Discrimination Theme Icon
Secrecy and Manipulation Theme Icon
...her brain. There’s no pain, but she squirms at the invasion inside her head. Next, Dr. Erland tells her that a med-droid is going to inject her with a diluted solution of... (full context)
Chapter 9
Secrecy and Manipulation Theme Icon
Li reports to Dr. Erland that Cinder’s condition has stabilized, and that they can expect signs of stage two the... (full context)
Chapter 10
Stereotypes and Discrimination Theme Icon
Secrecy and Manipulation Theme Icon
...at the netscreen that contains her holographic image. Suddenly, the door opens behind her, and Dr. Erland enters. He introduces himself as the leading scientist on the letumosis research team. Cinder raises... (full context)
Chapter 11
Stereotypes and Discrimination Theme Icon
Secrecy and Manipulation Theme Icon
Dr. Erland shows Cinder what is unusual about her biometrics: the letumosis microbes have disappeared. He tells... (full context)
Bravery and Sacrifice Theme Icon
Dr. Erland tells Cinder that with her help, they could save hundreds of thousands of lives. They... (full context)
Chapter 12
Bravery and Sacrifice Theme Icon
...denial that his father will die soon. He says that he’s going to go find Dr. Erland . (full context)
Chapter 13
Bravery and Sacrifice Theme Icon
Secrecy and Manipulation Theme Icon
Dr. Erland tells Cinder that she’s got some of the most complex technology he’s ever seen in... (full context)
Chapter 14
Secrecy and Manipulation Theme Icon
As Cinder starts to wake up, Dr. Erland assures her that she’s going to be all right. Kai, who has just walked into... (full context)
Secrecy and Manipulation Theme Icon
Kai helps Cinder to her feet and asks what she’s doing there. Dr. Erland lies again and says that she’s there to look at a med-droid. Kai is confused,... (full context)
Chapter 18
Resourcefulness, Kindness, and Perseverance Theme Icon
When Kai and Cinder reach Dr. Erland ’s office, Kai asks about the progress, but Dr. Erland again assures him that he’ll... (full context)
Chapter 19
Stereotypes and Discrimination Theme Icon
Secrecy and Manipulation Theme Icon
After Kai leaves, Cinder turns back to Dr. Erland . She tells him that she visited the quarantines and saw the med-droids take an... (full context)
Secrecy and Manipulation Theme Icon
Cinder also asks Dr. Erland about the Lunars’ glamour. He explains that it’s the ability to manipulate bioelectric energy, and... (full context)
Stereotypes and Discrimination Theme Icon
Secrecy and Manipulation Theme Icon
Dr. Erland asks why Cinder is so interested in the Lunars, and Cinder replies that Kai said... (full context)
Stereotypes and Discrimination Theme Icon
Secrecy and Manipulation Theme Icon
...them. Plus, to be Lunar in addition to being cyborg makes her a complete outcast. Dr. Erland tells Cinder that she can’t let Queen Levana see her, because the Queen hates shells,... (full context)
Chapter 21
Stereotypes and Discrimination Theme Icon
Resourcefulness, Kindness, and Perseverance Theme Icon
...ball. Cinder also doesn’t want anyone to know that she’s Lunar, and she hopes that Dr. Erland will be the only person who ever knows. (full context)
Chapter 22
Bravery and Sacrifice Theme Icon
Secrecy and Manipulation Theme Icon
As Cinder travels back to the palace, she remembers Dr. Erland ’s warnings about Queen Levana, but she feels she has to deliver Nainsi back to... (full context)
Chapter 23
Secrecy and Manipulation Theme Icon
...to see her, hoping that they can continue their search for Princess Selene and give Dr. Erland the antidote to duplicate it; he does not want to become a “puppet.” He then... (full context)
Chapter 24
Secrecy and Manipulation Theme Icon
...as to why Levana’s glamour affected her the same as everyone else. She wonders if Dr. Erland lied to her about being a shell, or about being Lunar. Just then, an android... (full context)
Bravery and Sacrifice Theme Icon
...She tries to assure him that she’s fine, but he insists on bringing her to Dr. Erland . (full context)
Chapter 25
Bravery and Sacrifice Theme Icon
Kai brings Cinder into Dr. Erland ’s office and informs him of Cinder’s pain, but she assures them both that she’s... (full context)
Stereotypes and Discrimination Theme Icon
After Kai leaves, Dr. Erland angrily asks what Cinder is doing at the palace, because Queen Levana might see her.... (full context)
Secrecy and Manipulation Theme Icon
Cinder then asks why people touching her causes her to pass out. Dr. Erland explains that putting a biological lock on her gift protected her identity, because otherwise she... (full context)
Bravery and Sacrifice Theme Icon
Power, Greed, and Evil Theme Icon
Stereotypes and Discrimination Theme Icon
Cinder asks if Kai knows that Dr. Erland is a Lunar, and he says no. He understands the prejudices against Lunars, but not... (full context)
Secrecy and Manipulation Theme Icon
Cinder then asks Dr. Erland if he’s immune to letumosis, and he says yes—that this is how he’s been developing... (full context)
Chapter 30
Bravery and Sacrifice Theme Icon
Resourcefulness, Kindness, and Perseverance Theme Icon
...night, she got the engine to work for the first time. Cinder used money from Dr. Erland ’s research on a tank of gasoline; her freedom is near.  (full context)
Chapter 37
Bravery and Sacrifice Theme Icon
...booth. Soon, she’ll be transported back to Luna. A guard interrupts her thoughts, bringing in Dr. Erland to visit. He insists on speaking to Cinder alone, explaining that she’s a test subject... (full context)
Secrecy and Manipulation Theme Icon
Dr. Erland then explains that he wants Cinder to come to Africa with him. He gives her... (full context)
Chapter 38
Secrecy and Manipulation Theme Icon
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... (full context)