I must say I’ve really enjoyed this story. I did end up guessing the ending but it was still interesting enough that I kept reading (you never know if you’re guessed right until the end!).
The character of Cinder was quite possibly my favourite element of Marissa Meyer’s book. She’s an intelligent, resourceful and funny. I liked that while a lot of things that happened were out of her control, she also makes choices and takes action. It’s this self-determination against the odds that define Cinder as a modern Cinderella.
For anyone who hasn’t had a chance to finish it here is a quick summary:
Humans and androids crowd the raucous streets of New Beijing. A deadly plague ravages the population. From space, the ruthless lunar people watch, waiting to make their move. Only few are looking for the Lost Princess, who just may be the last hope for Earth’s fate.
Cinder, a gifted mechanic, is a cyborg. She’s a second-class citizen with a mysterious past, reviled by her stepmother and blamed for her stepsister’s illness. But when her life becomes intertwined with the handsome Prince Kai’s, she suddenly finds herself at the center of an intergalactic struggle and a forbidden attraction. Caught between duty and freedom, loyalty and betrayal, she must uncover secrets about her past in order to protect her world’s future.
I stumped across some great discussion questions on Marissa Meyer’s website so I thought I would share a few with my thoughts. I’d love to hear your interpretation of the questions, feel free to leave a comment below.
What parallels can you draw between CINDER and the Cinderella fairy tale?
The first thing obviously was her situation – being considered second class by her ‘step mother’ and step-sisters. Like Cinderella she dreamed of dancing at the ball and being accepted by everyone.
What does it mean to be human? Is it primarily physiological? Cultural? Emotional? What do you think could have led to cyborgs being perceived as less than human in Cinder’s world?
I think its a matter of property. In my opinion they see the machinery as parts, things that you own and so when they are attached to a person that person becomes property. The smaller the percentage of cyborg parts a person had the more human they are considered.
What is the importance of beauty (real or deceptive) in Cinder’s world? How is this similar or different from the way beauty is treated today?
Cinder’s step-mother puts all of her value into looks and beauty. She wants her daughters to look good so they can marry wealthy men. Cinder is ashamed of her cyborg parts and fears how other people view them. I think a lot of this is relevant today. People still view the world and the people in it as beautiful or ugly, thin or fat. It’s really common for people to fear other people’s opinions. We haven’t evolved from this yet.
Each book in The Lunar Chronicles will be inspired by a different fairy tale. Can you spot references to any tales besides Cinderella within CINDER?
I haven’t read them yet but at a guess I’m going for:
= Red riding-hood
Thoughts? Comments? I’d love to hear them!