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Teamwork in "City of Ember" Novel by Dean Praus

Categories: CityTeamwork

One may not like the idea of teamwork, in fear of failure, but working with other individuals is the key to being successful. In Dean Praus novel, City of Ember he reveals sometimes teamwork is vital in certain situations in order to achieve one’s goal. In the novel, Ember is becoming inhabitable. As a result, the two protagonists, Lina and Doon team up to save their dying city before it is too late. Throughout the novel, the symbols and conflicts distinctly reveal that teamwork is the key to success because when individuals work together to accomplish a common goal, there are no limits to their true potential.

As failure is something everyone experiences, it is the support one has during one’s mistakes that helps one feel motivated. As a matter of fact, symbolism is used in the novel to represent the goals individuals can accomplish when working together, as working with a team effort increases the overall output. Firstly, a symbol in this novel is the green worm Doon discovers that eventually morphs into a moth.

The worm symbolizes Doon’s instinctive curiosity, the same curiosity that drives him to be more helpful while working with Lina. For instance, while watching the worm Doon explains it “was difficult with fast-moving creatures like moths and spiders. To learn anything about them, he [has] to catch what glimpses he [can] as they [live] their lives out in the open” (Duprau 52), because without experiments and simulations one’s result would not be ideal.

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Experimenting with the worm was a reflection of how one takes a few attempts before one accomplishes one’s goal. Working in a team enables each individual to learn from one another’s mistakes because experiencing and learning from the mistakes is all apart of the process and it is going to be difficult. The transformation of the worm refers to their process as in the end, it is not what one starts with but the final outcome. Similarly to how Lina and Doon won’t be able to escape so easily on their first try never knowing what can be thrown at them along the way. Furthermore, another symbol revealed in the novel is the coded letter written by the builders of this underground city centuries ago but now discovered by Lina.

The coded letter symbolizes the future of their lives as ultimately it has the instructions to a new city which represents the beginning of Lina and Doon’s partner relationship. While Lina and Doon decode it “they [stare] at each other in the flickering light, realizing what this[means]. There was no tunnel leading out of Ember. The way out was the river” (Duprau 192), because Lina and Doon realize they have found their solution for their escape. In some cases, there can be some tasks that cannot be completed individually but easily done by working in a team because teamwork combines each individual’s ideas, skills, and strengths allowing Lina and Doon to combine their skills to discover their way out. Compared to one working alone, because of more minds set on the same goals, one will have a more efficient goal output. Overall, the symbols in this story reveal that a vast part of teamwork is the combination of each individuals strengths and difficulties so at the end one will have multiple sets of skills available to support one’s work. Therefore because individuals can expand their skill sets one will have more than one started with.

Additionally, conflicts between opposing forces add uncertainty to the storyline making the readers wonder. In this case, the conflicts that arise in this novel demonstrates that teamwork is essential to pushing one’s limits as in the end, one has more than one started with. In the novel, an external conflict is revealed when the mayor puts a warrant out for Lina and Doon before they are able to find a way out of the city. All through town, there are posters scattered everywhere stating: “Doon Harrow and Lina Mayfleet – Wanted for spreading vicious rumors – If you see them, report to mayor’s chief guard. Believe nothing they say…They [don’t] have time to waste. They run faster” (DuPrau 205), as after all these minor issues it exemplifies how defeats can ultimately be turned into successes. In fact, encountering these problems initially causes Lina and Doon to feel the need to work even harder facing these minor issues because when working sometimes not everything goes as planned but it is the way one’s problems are faced that matters.

Likewise, Lina and Doon work together to escape from the mayor and as part of a cooperative effort, when they escape together while running away they discover the river, which is their escaping point they have been looking for all along. Once again supporting the concept that defeats can be turned into success as teamwork raises one’s varied outcomes. Another conflict established in this novel is an example of man versus nature, as their city is dying because the lights in the city are going out, therefore, Lina and Doon have to find a way to escape safely.

After all the problems and struggles, in the end, they accomplish their goal of discovering a new city, ” ‘It’s Ember,’ Lina [whispers]. They [can] see the tiny bright streets crossing each other, and the squares, little chips of light and the dark top of buildings. Just beyond the edges was the immense darkness” (DuPrau 269), the outlook of the new city. Overall, after all the obstacles and conflicts at the end of the day, with Doon’s help, Lina is able to find the new city, as explained by the builders in the letter they decode together. However, with surprises and complications thrown at her along the way, going through them with Doon makes her less worrisome. Although support can be a fundamental need, it becomes more difficult as one faces more issues, the team will be successful in terms of reaching their goals. In this regard, members support one another as they collaborate and communicate freely together consisting of constant encouragement for one another through the struggles. The more support one receives in time of need, the more strength there is available for one to draw upon. Likewise, the conflicts that provoke the characters to work together establish that when individuals work together they can accomplish the unthinkable.

Ultimately, the symbols and conflicts throughout the novel illustrate that teamwork is the key to success, pushing one’s limits higher. Combining each individual’s strengths and difficulties, learning from one another and providing constant support is all part of building a team relationship. In Dean Praus novel, City of Ember, he emphasizes what one can accomplish, in a team as Lina and Doon work together to save their city. However, in particular tasks and occasions, teamwork may not invariably be ideal, it is important in order to achieve the overall objectives and goals because working as a team, increases one’s abilities, raising one’s potential. Today, failure is simply a part of life and in order to move forward and develop, one must be more open and allow individuals to help therefore with a commitment to a team effort is the key to team success.

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Teamwork in "City of Ember" Novel by Dean Praus. (2019, Dec 19). Retrieved from

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