When describing June’s first encounter with her brother’s dead body, Lu writes about all the ways Metias appears to still be alive. For example, she writes his skin is tan as in life and not pale like death. Because of his life-like skin color, June half expects her brother’s eyes to flutter open. There is a sense of longing in her expectation—she fervently hopes her brother will wake up as if he were only sleeping. This insight into June’s feelings is possible because of the way Lu describes Metias’s body.
Day and June perceive and hence describe the Lake sector in diametrically opposed ways. When Day walks through the Lake sector, he sees familiar sights and faces: street vendors calling out to passersby, shop attendants trying to make their daily bread, tired factory workers making their way home to their families. When he describes the sector, it is through a fond, nostalgic, rose-tinted lens. June’s perspective is from the other end of the spectrum. When she walks through the Lake Sector, she can only note how filthy the streets and buildings are. Like Day, she does comment on the inhabitants of the Lake sector, but only says that they ignore the trash piled up on the streets. These differences between Day’s and June’s perceptions and opinions of the Lake sector mirror the differences between the two characters themselves. Though the two main characters share common character traits, their different upbringings definitely impact their view of the world. Lu does a nuanced job of showing us these differences through the use of imagery.
Lu does an excellent job of illustrating Legend’s fight scenes to the point where the reader feels as if they are in the middle of the action. A great example of this is June’s Skiz fight against Kaede. June is described as striking like a viper while Kaede is like a bull. Already the reader has the mental picture in their head of June moving smoothly and adroitly and of Kaede fighting aggressively and powerfully. June “sidesteps” and “darts” while Kaede “lunges” and “charges” (159). The scene is further painted by Lu’s inclusion of the myriad sounds echoing through the arena. For example, Kaede’s kick “whooshes” past June’s body. June’s ears are “drowning” in the screams and cheers of the audience. Lu’s engagement of sight and hearing helps create a clear picture of the Skiz fight and is a skillful use of imagery.
Lu follows her descriptive fight scenes with explicit depictions of the injuries characters sustained during the fights. For example, after Day’s hospital break-in we read of his piercing headache that feels “like a pick slamming repeatedly into the back of [his] head” (83). When Kaede stabs June during their Skiz fight, the reader, alongside June, feels the “terrible, sharp pain” (159). As she’s escaping the angry mob and crashes to the ground, June hits her head hard enough that the world starts to spin and “spots explode across [her] vision” (162). All of these images and details allow the reader to tap into the physical pain the characters experience.
Legend Questions and Answers
The Question and Answer section for Legend is a great
resource to ask questions, find answers, and discuss the novel.
The most important person in June's life is her brother, Mathias. At the beginning of the novel, we learn that Mathias and June have been on their own since their parent's death. When Mathias dies, June's life is turned upside down, and all her...