“Legend” a novel written by Marie Lu is set in a dystopian world where North America is split in two by a civil war. The two sides are The Republic, once western United States, and The Colonies, once eastern United States. The republic is a dictatorship and is a very poor nation as of the war. High class Republic citizens see the Colonies as the enemy and Republic the hero, but the lower class Republic citizens see the Colonies as a wealthy nation full of freedom and riches if it were possible to get there. The story is told from the perspective of the two main protagonists, Daniel Wing (Day) and June Iparis. June is the Republics prodigy, she scored 100% in the Trials, she graduated high school almost instantly, she attends Drake University at the age of 15. June lives in the wealthiest sector of the Republic. Junes parents are dead so her brother Metias raises her. Day is the Republics most wanted criminal, also 15 years old, and lives in the slum sectors of the Republic. Day failed the Trials so the Republic stole him from his family, sent him on a train to concentration camps, with the rest of the bad genes. But Day escaped and stayed hidden from his family, only his brother John knows he was alive. The Republic has a plague which circulates the poor sectors as they cannot afford plague cures. Days family get the plague so he decides to steal some from the military hospital, which Junes brother happens to be the commanding patrol officer. Day didn’t find any plague medicine in the hospital and Metias follows his escape. Day is very injured but mages to escape by throwing his knife into Metias’ shoulder and wading through the sewers. Metias is found dead on the scene and June is hired to hunt Day down.
A personal connection I had with the text was how both the characters June and Day both had to persevere so many times throughout the text. One moment in particular is after Day escapes the hospital and is struggling through the sewers. “That would be something-wouldn’t it?-to escape the hospital only to die down here, lost in a goddy maze of sewers.” He is being chased by an entire Republic patrol of troopers. He is badly wounded from jumping out of the window of a skyscraper, but he has to keep going, keep persevering. If he dies down there, there would be no one to look after his friend Tess and his family. This relates to me as I am always having to persevere with things. Never anything as extreme as that, but things like massive homework projects such as my first spacial one. Half way through the project i realized i had done a lot of things wrong and I couldn’t be bothered restarting. But, I did and I kept persevering and I got excellence for it.
A connection between the text and the real world would be the politics in the text. The Republic’s government is a dictatorship and Marie Lu does a great job of showing how the people feel about this. Since the book is written through the perspectives of two different characters I got to know how the different classes think differently about there government/leaders. Upper class love their glorious Elector Primo, as they live good lives, have electricity, have food and have jobs that pay. Whereas lower class citizens such as Day, who live on the streets, eat whatever they can find, don’t have jobs, dislike the leaders as they do not put any money towards the poor sectors. “The ground sits low against the water (not unlike the other poor sectors, which all seem to look the same), so that whenever there’s a storm, the lake probably floods all the streets lining the shore with dirty, sewage-contaminated water.” This quote is from when June hunting Day down and realizing for the first time how terrible it must be living in the poor sectors. I also got the perspective of small time shop owners, how pretty much all the money they earn is taxed away by the government. This relates to history in the form of communism how everything is supposed to be equal but the governments are actually corrupt. How everyone is meant to be treated the same but the rich and poor gap is still huge.
This novel is a great read I loved how it was told by the perspective of two people who are the same, but were just brought up in different places. This factor gives you a far wider range of backstory and helps you to get into the ideas so much easier.