The Eternity Code Themes

This Study Guide consists of approximately 51 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of The Eternity Code.
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Loyalty

Loyalty is an important theme in "The Eternity Code." The first example of loyalty is seen when Butler dives in front of Artemis when Butler fires his gun, accepting a mortal wound in order to save his Principal. Artemis returns this loyalty by refusing to let Butler die. He stores his bodyguard in a cryogenic chamber until he can convince Holly to heal Butler. Though Holly objects to the means that Artemis uses to persuade her to heal Butler, she readily agrees to heal Butler once Foaly says it is possible because of the times that Butler has helped her in the past. Juliet is also very loyal to both Artemis and Butler. She flies to Ireland as soon as she learns that her brother needs her, and she helps Artemis retrieve the C Cube from Chicago, constantly worrying about Artemis's safety since she has assumed her brother's job of guarding the boy.

Mulch also demonstrates loyalty when he is hired to help Loafers kidnap Artemis. He betrays Loafers and warns Artemis, even helping retrieve the C Cube. As a reward for his loyalty, Artemis changes his criminal record so that Mulch will not be incarcerated by the LEP, and he gives Mulch a disk with his files about the fairies, asking Mulch to return it to him in several years. Mulch again shows loyalty as he plans to comply with Artemis's request. Butler also shows his loyalty when he adheres to Artemis's instructions regarding their preparations to restore their fairy memories while Artemis is retrieving the C Cube in Chicago. Loyalty stands as an important theme as all of the characters on Artemis's team display varying degrees of loyalty to one another. On Jon Spiro's side of things, his hired bodyguard and security guards are quick to betray him, showing that loyalty plays a vital role in Artemis's victory over Spiro.

Dishonesty

Dishonesty plays a vital role in this novel as many of the characters, including the protagonist, demonstrate dishonesty at various points. Artemis displays dishonesty when he decides to take on one last job before complying with his parents' wishes for their family to cease their criminal enterprises. Jon Spiro shows his dishonest nature when he opts to steal the C Cube and attempts to kill Artemis and Butler instead of complying with Artemis's original plan to keep the C Cube off the market long enough for Spiro to sell his stock. Holly is irritated when she learns that Artemis is the one who pinged the LEP because she does not trust him since he has proved dishonest in their past interactions. When Spiro hires Loafers and Mulch to kidnap Artemis, Mulch dishonestly agrees to perform the job with the intention of warning Artemis who he considers a friend. Mulch betrays his partner and his employer, joining Artemis's team and agreeing to help retrieve the C Cube. Spiro lies to Artemis, claiming he will allow Artemis to return to his family safely if Artemis unlocks the C Cube's eternity code though he has absolutely no intention of doing so.

During the plan to retrieve the C Cube, Artemis acts dishonestly several times, keeping information from his team because he knows they will not approve of certain aspects of his plan. He also lies constantly to Spiro who distrusts Artemis and rarely trusts anything he says anyway. Spiro is also dishonest in his interactions with Artemis, even setting him up to steal the C Cube from Spiro Needle just to see how far Artemis can get. Luckily, Artemis has a backup plan which consists of convincing Spiro to raid Phonetix and be arrested, though he is only able to succeed at the plan by dishonestly arguing against it since he knows Spiro will be suspicious if Artemis approves of the use of the C Cube. Artemis also acts dishonestly by hacking into the LEP while Foaly is busy helping retrieve the C Cube; he does this to clear Mulch's criminal record so his friend will not be incarcerated by the Lower Elements Police, but his action is also self-interested as it aids Artemis in his final dishonest act of hiding fairy information in hopes that he will retrieve it after the mind wipe which he has agreed to since the fairies insist Artemis presents too much of a risk to continue their association with him.

Changing Personalities

Due to the influence of fairy magic, several characters in "The Eternity Code" change their personalities at various points in the narrative. The most obvious example is Loafers McGuire whose mind is erased before Holly relocates him to Kenya where he does not remember who he is. The relocation is successful because Loafers shows no signs of his original personality. Chips and Pex are also influenced by fairy magic, though not as permanently. Holly mesmerizes them so they do not see Artemis when he is trying to steal the C Cube until he is explicitly pointed out. They also suggest that Spiro should use the C Cube to access and steal Phonetix's upcoming projects, a fact that should have alerted Spiro to Artemis's interference with his bodyguards since Pex and Chips are both too stupid to come up with such a sensible idea on their own. Arno Blunt does not actually have a personality change; however, his intention to seek vengeance against Artemis after his arrest in Chicago is diverted when Butler, who Blunt believes is dead, threatens to kill him if he does not confess his crimes to the police. Blunt's actions, if not his personality, changes because of his fear.

After her mission to retrieve the C Cube, Juliet Butler begins to question whether she wants to pursue a career in personal protection. Holly begins to consider Artemis a friend by the end of the mission. Mulch goes against his selfish nature to warn Artemis that Spiro plans to kidnap him, and he even helps retrieve the C Cube from Chicago. Butler ages drastically after Holly heals him because her healing magic is not strong enough to restore his life so it draws on around fifteen years of his life force. Throughout the novel, Artemis frequently expresses his concern that the fairy's healing magic has altered his father's personality as his previously criminal father now intends for the Fowl family to act honestly and honorably, even claiming that he wants to be the hero ever father should be and asking Artemis to take the journey with him. Before submitting to Foaly's mind wipe, Artemis uses his last argument against losing his fairy memories, questioning whether they want him to become the person he was when he first met them. Unfortunately, Commander Root insists that is not their concern, so Artemis's mind is wiped, and if the Epilogue is any indication, his personality reverts back to the selfish, criminal boy he was before his interactions with the fairies.

This section contains 1,149 words
(approx. 3 pages at 400 words per page)
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