The Kill Order

The Kill Order Symbols, Allegory and Motifs

Symbol: the Berg

The Berg is a symbol of WICKED's power and looming presence. Like its name suggests, it is large and inaccessible, "cold" and distant - like an iceberg. The Berg is also the only form of air travel that really exists in the series. Like the powerful and ever-hovering government, the Berg is up in the air, looking down from a high point onto the suffering peoples of the earth. It can choose when to intervene, and whether it wants to hurt or to save. The Berg is a machine, not a human, and is incapable of feeling. This again reflects the nature of the government: it has routinely more machine-like, desensitized to the sufferings of the people it was constructed to serve.

Symbol: Transvice

The Transvice is a weapon that vaporizes people into thin air. Both Mark and Alec carry Transvices at certain points in the story. This powerful weapon is a symbol of the volatility of the world around Mark and his friends. It is a straightforward commentary on the craziness that surrounds Mark and his friends. At one moment, the sun flares can obliterate much of the world, its resources, and its inhabitants; at another, the government can release a deadly virus for unethical population control. The Transvice can be seen as an addition to this craziness. But it is also more than that: the way that the device makes a person (and not, for example, an object) disappear and dissipate is a testament to how little human lives have come to be valued in this crazy, catastrophe-ridden world.

Motif: Floods

Floods are a continuing image and event in the story. This includes both literal and figurative floods. The first flood comes in the form of the boiling water in the train tunnels; this leads to the flooding of the streets and world around Mark and his friends. Later, rains come down and continue to storm the world after the solar radiation period is over. Another form of rain comes down in the form of the poisonous darts that the government shoots at Mark's village and Deedee's village. The storm of the Flare virus-darts then leads to a "flood" of people going insane, such as Bruce and his team. Bruce and his team are described like a deluge as they storm Asheville in their madness. In this catastrophe-ridden world, things and events no longer come in small doses, but comes in large amounts - floods.

Motif: Fire

There are many images and events that involve fire in this story. The first and most obvious is the disaster of sun flares that come down and ravage the earth, burning many people in the process. Secondly, the crazed, infected people from Deedee's village build a large fire in order to perform their cult rituals. This fire spreads into the forest, destroying many things, much like the way the Flare has become like the sun flares it is named after: it is spreading and destroying. In many ways, the Flare is a "figurative fire," since it burns holes in people's sanities, and causes a "burning rage" which Mark himself experiences.

Motif: Hanging

Throughout the story, many images and instances of "hanging" or "hanging on" occur. Several times, Mark has to hang out of the window of the Berg in order to fight off an infected insane person. He even comments about the absurdity of those situations. When Mark and Alec first board the Berg, they have to hang on to it from a grappling hook, and Mark is nearly killed by crashing into a tree from that event. These instances reflect the figurative "hanging on" that Mark and his friends do every day. When Trina, Deedee, and Lana are captured by the crazies, they have to "hang on" to each other and to the hope that their friends will come to save them. Mark and Alec have to hang on to their sanity long enough to get Deedee to the Flat Trans. Every day is a battle for survival, holding on to the thin threads of hope and life that still exist around them.