King's Cage Themes & Motifs

Victoria Aveyard
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Exploitation and Autonomy

Mare, Cameron, and Evangeline all struggle to find autonomy throughout the novel, and Aveyard uses their unique, but concurrent, battles to highlight the varying ways that individuals and groups are exploited for others’ personal and political gain. Mare’s struggle for autonomy is the most straightforward. She spends most the narrative in captivity, controlled physically and emotionally by Maven’s manipulative rule. She is referred to as a “weapon” (134), a “mighty trophy” (249), and a “dartboard” (271), all for others’ use and personal gain. Maven keeps her not only for personal enjoyment and to satisfy his obsession, but to show the kingdom of Norta that he has control of the rebellious Scarlet Guard. It is not until her escape that Mare discovers autonomy, and in it she is able to make amends with her friends and family, discover her core identity, and find a semblance of...

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This section contains 1,748 words
(approx. 5 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the King's Cage Study Guide
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