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Questions for Discussion: The Immortal Rules by Julie Kagawa

Updated on April 25, 2013
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Question

Allison claims she hates vampires and believes they are monsters. Yet when faced with a choice to die or become one, she chooses to be a vampire. Given a choice between death and becoming something you hate, what would you do? How did Allison's choice make you feel about her character? (Source: The Immortal Rules by Julie Kagawa)

"Growing up on the fringe, you came to accept hard truths. Nothing was fair. the world was cold, unforgiving, and people died. it was just the way things were."

~ Allison Sekemoto

Allison Sekemoto is truly fearless. She has no qualms with what the world has become; it's just the way it is, and she accepts it, adapts, and survives. That's what her life is: survival. She's known nothing else except the day to day grind of trying not to starve to death or get eaten in a dark alleyway.

If all you knew was survival, the act of not dying, how could you possibly turn those instincts off, even when faced with a difficult decision? Allison always says that she'll choose life every time, and becoming something she hates allows her to stay on the path of the "living," or some semblance thereof.

Survival is a basic instinct that all humans possess. Whether we are afraid of death or not, the will to live is a primal force built within us. I'd like to think that, given Allison's history, her instinct is on overdrive, a constant that she can never bury because, in truth, she's never been safe.

If it were me in that situation, and I had to choose between death and becoming something I loathed, I'd probably do exactly what Allison did. That's not to say I'm afraid of death, but when I put myself in Allison's shoes, I can't see the point of dying the way she would have. Tragedies happen, but to survive all that time and to just come a brutal and pointless end? I wouldn't want to face that either. She came to accept the hard truths of the world, and she would have accepted death had she been given no other choice.

But she was given the choice. And if it were me, I would have grasped at it too.

“My emotions still held a stubborn hope that humans could be loyal, that they could hold out against the promise of an easy life. But I knew better.”

~ Allison Sekemoto

I felt that Allison's decision helped me to understand her better. I could never judge her for her choice because, while we all have an idea of what we'd do in a situation like that, we truly would never know how we would react until placed in that position.

Allison doesn't believe in God when she finds herself on that proverbial fork in the road. And, although she hates vampires, I don't think she has much respect or admiration for humans in general either.

“It was almost better to be caught by the hungry, soulless vampires; the most they would probably do was drink your blood and leave you to die. Humans were capable of far, far worse.”

~ Allison Sekemoto

So when you don't believe in Heaven and you don't have faith in humanity, what's to stop you from becoming a vampire, even if it's something you hate? In my opinion, based on Allison's beliefs and her thoughts, she was choosing the lesser of two in a world full of evils.

Some might think she was brave to make the choice she did, while others might see her as a coward. While I do think Allison is courageous, in regards to her decision, I don't see her as either. I think she just did what she had to do, continuing her life the way she's always known it.

Surviving.



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