Themes

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Last Reviewed on June 19, 2019, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 251

Themes in Dread Nation include racial inequality, corruption, and strength.

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Racial inequality is a major theme in Dread Nation. Despite the threat of the shamblers (zombies), there are still laws governing people by race. For example, Black and Native American children have to go to special schools to learn to defend and be companions to upper-class white people. Jane, Katherine, and the rest of the students are working to learn to fight for people who still look down on them for their race. They don't have equal access to protection or choice, simply because they're people of color.

Corruption is another theme in the story. It's embodied in Mayor Carr, the mayor of Baltimore. It's also a major issue because of the Survivalist movement. They say that the way for society to survive is to protect white men and women. Then, people in those positions of power use that belief to control those under them.

Finally, strength is another important theme. Jane, for example, is strong in multiple ways. She's a great fighter, she's intelligent, and she's able to control her immediate feelings about things like her situation, the rude deputy, and Red Jack. This helps her to make the best out of bad situations and complete her goals. It's also what makes her valuable as a fighter and companion. For example, near the end of the book, Jane and Katherine race through a horde of shamblers to try to save Lily while protecting the Duchess and the group with her.

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