Crewel Literary Elements


Dystopian Fiction

Setting and Context

Post-Apocalypse in a world called Arras

Narrator and Point of View

Adelice Lewys is the novel's narrator, and the story is told in the first-person from her point of view.

Tone and Mood

Told from Adelice's perspective, much of the novel has a tone of reflection and longing as Adelice remembers her life before the Coventry. At times, when Adelice interacts with Maela and Ambassador Patton, the tone shifts to one of resistance and (occasionally) sarcasm.

Protagonist and Antagonist

Adelice Lewys (Protagonist); Cormac Patton (Antagonist), Maela (Antagonist), The Guild (Antagonist)

Major Conflict

The Guild must find a new Creweler or else risk losing all life on Arras. Adelice is the perfect candidate, but she doesn't come willingly -- especially not after the Guild kills her father and alters her sister's memories. However, every time Adelice resists the power of the Guild, they punish her either by harming her body or by threatening harm to her sister. The major conflict is an internal one that forces Adelice to decide between surrendering to the Guild or continuing to fight against it.


Ambassador Patton and Maela discover Adelice exploring restricted areas to find answers about her sister and Jost's daughter. They decide to immediately administer a remapping and force her to marry Ambassador Patton. Never more desperate for escape, Adelice must quickly formulate a plan. She must choose either to stay and accept a "life" as Ambassador Patton's bride, or to escape to the mysterious world of Earth below, leaving her sister and Jost's daughter behind.


Instances of foreshadowing in the novel usually predict death -- either an emotional or physical one. For example, just before Maela rips the section in Cypress, her dress is described a "splash of blood" (86).




Albin includes an allusion to Adam and Eve when describing how naked and uncomfortable Adelice feels in her dress at the State of the Guild Ball.


Albin uses imagery to allow readers to visualize the foreign world of Arras. She includes vivid descriptions of the elaborate gowns and the complex weave Spinsters use to maintain life on Arras.





Metonymy and Synecdoche



Albin most often uses personification when describing elements of nature. This technique emphasizes the artificial nature Arras.