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Written by Anastasia Melnyk
In the novel, Jeanne DuPrau manages to convey the atmosphere of the dying Ember. To some extent, it is terrible to read about “gray houses and gray doors with old paint,” flashing electric lights over the city, “the dying crop in the greenhouses,” or children, who are forced to work in the sewerage system or at the landfill. “The sky above Ember has always been black.” The image of the city gives an impression of the catastrophe and the end of the world.
Lina knows that Ember was not always in such a bad situation. When the city was built, the warehouses were simply “full of different things.” There was everything whatever your heart desires and in such quantities that the stock seemed never to end. Each vault contained “boxes of toothpaste, bottles of cooking oil, soap briquettes and medicines.” There “were even pineapples.” The image of the old Ember gives an impression that people lived happily and had everything they wanted.
When Lina, Doon and Poppy climb out of the underground city, they meet their first dawn. The edge of the sky becomes “gray, then orange, and then crimson, as if fiery.” Then the sky on the horizon becomes “so bright” that it is barely possible to look at it. It is “gentle, bright and blue.” Triumphant sounds come out of the foliage – “singing, squeaking and chirping.” The image of the earth gives an impression of the new and peaceful life.
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