“Stay Alive”

In the book Alive by Scott Sigler, the protagonist M. Savage is characterized as an aggressive 12-year-old who was trying to survive and stay “alive” in an unknown and unfamiliar planet that they are being trapped in. The plot takes place in a coffin where the protagonist gets trapped inside and eventually escapes and saves the rest of the group, because of this reason, she eventually gets chosen to be the leader of the group to guide them back to where they remembered as “Home”.

Em, a strongly built teenager is an intolerant leader who doesn’t take responsibility for her actions; moreover, she shows us that being an impatient leader could result in corruption. During the exposition of the story, she escapes from the coffin and noticed that her body had grown into a ripe woman. Em notices her body change and thinks to herself, “I look at what I’m wearing: white button-down shirt… My shirt feels tight. The sleeves end halfway between my elbow and wrist. White thread in the middle of that circle spells a word: MICTLAN. I have no idea what that means. And these clothes…are they mine?” (Sigler 17). She noticed that her clothes were being stretched because of the growth of her body, and she had turned from what she remembered: a little kid into an unfamiliar grownup body: “’So, you say you’re twelve,’ she says, ‘You look nineteen, maybe twenty. You look like a grown woman’”  (29). Spingate claims that Em looks like an adult instead of a 12-year-old. Additionally, she doesn’t take responsibility for her actions as a leader of a group of kids. Em kills a boy named Yong when fighting over authority: “It was an accident. Everyone thinks so. There was nothing I could have done. He ran into the knife. He did. He was going to hit me. Was I supposed to let him?” (91).  After she “accidentally” killed Yong, her first actions were not to rush over and help him stop the blood from pumping out of his chest, in order to prove that it wasn’t her fault. Furthermore, her impatient personality has led to people to think that she does not deserve to be the leader: “‘she doesn’t know what she’s doing,’  Yong says. He looks at me, holds out his palm. ‘You tried, Em, but you failed. It’s my turn now, so give me the knife’”(79). Just before Em killed Yong,  he was complaining about how Em had failed to lead the crew. Yong was killed by her because of her impatience, she couldn’t bear to hear what other people talk about how she fails and her character traits had led to the death of a person. In conclusion, Em contains the characteristics of mature women, a leader who is extremely impatient and doesn’t take responsibility.


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