The City of Ember Literary Elements

The City of Ember Literary Elements


Science Fiction / Apocalyptic Fiction

Setting and Context

The fictional city of Ember, which was built to sustaiin life after an apocalyptic disaster

Narrator and Point of View

The point of view is that of Lina.

Tone and Mood

Gloom-filled, threatening and desperate, but ultimately hopeful

Protagonist and Antagonist

Lina and Doon are the protagonists, the unscrupulous mayor of Ember the antagonist.

Major Conflict

There is conflict between the mayor and Lina, as well as Doon, because they have reported him to the authorities for stealing supplies meant for the townspeople.


Lina, Doon and Poppy make it up a steep slope to safety, leaving Ember behind them.


When Lina and Doon report the mayor's embezzlement from the city, it foreshadows his retaliation and their being declared a fugitive from justice.


The escape slope is described as steep which is an understatement because it literally takes the trio from deep underground to daylight and above ground.


No specific examples


The imagery is predominantly visual, and the author paints a vivid picture for the reader of the way in which Ember is a bubble, an underground prison masquerading as a city. The height of the slope from which they escape also paints a vivid picture of just how far underground the city was actually constructed and adds to the feeling of being cocooned.


The kids report the mayor to the authorities but the authorities are controlled by the mayor and so their reporting him has the opposite effect intended.


There is a parallel between the impending disaster the original builders believed they were escaping from and the disaster that is about to occur in the disintegrating Ember that Lina and Doon are escaping from.

Metonymy and Synecdoche

The Builders is given as the name of the original group who founded Ember.


No specific examples

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