“‘Yeah, but broken isn't the same as unfixable’” (Meyer 472).
Greetings, Lunar Chronicles lovers and fandom friends! For those of you not familiar with the fantastic series Sherlock, first of all, you are missing out, and second of all the glorious meme you see above is of John Watson. The quote is from Winter (the fourth book of the Lunar Chronicles a.k.a. the Cinder series) by Marissa Meyer. I highly recommend both of these series, but even if you aren’t familiar with them, you can still enjoy the analysis of these juxtaposed items.
The two series couldn't seem more different. Sherlock is about a present-day British sociopath who solves crimes with his flat mate, a doctor who was in Afghanistan. Then we have Winter, about a post-WWIV society where the moon is colonized and has an evil queen so a bunch of teenagers try to overthrow her and have the long-lost princess reclaim her title while also bearing an astounding resemblance to classic fairy tale romances. However, there is a common theme of the power of friendship. The meme, though clearly intended for comedic purposes, brings a new perspective to the quote. In the book, Cinder is saying this to Iko about her android body that takes quite a few beatings in the process of trying to dethrone the evil Queen Levana. The brokenness is physical. However, the picture shows an emotional side to the brokenness. Emotionally, John was scarred from the war. He has trouble adjusting back to ordinary living. He hardly eats, if at all, and must see a therapist about his PTSD. He has no job, no friends or family for support, and no excitement in his life. He is so emotionally broken down. This shows the other side to friendship in Winter. Though Cinder is one fine mechanic, the characters all rely on each other for emotional support. They all had a very questionable upbringing, from being taken away from one’s family and genetically modified to be part wolf to being kept on a satellite to do work for the evil queen, having human contact only with her abusive captor. Though they all had struggles to overcome, they were able to make solid steps toward recovery through the bonds formed with each other. Just as befriending Sherlock brought excitement back into John’s life, the characters in Winter were able to help fix each other's broken pasts, like Scarlet’s acceptance of Wolf despite his animalistic tendencies and appearance. Friendship has the power to heal.
The quote also shows deeper meaning in the image. John felt destroyed after he came home. His PTSD took over his life, leaving him with no sense of purpose. It was hard for him to see a way out of the downward spiral of eating less and feeling less happy. However, as we see in the quote, he was still able to heal. Though hope felt loss for our dear friend, meeting Sherlock was able to show him that he was not beyond help. Where even John’s therapist failed, Sherlock was still able to help John overcome his PTSD. This creates the message that hope is never lost. We, like John, can feel that there is no person to turn to in times of trouble, but we are never beyond help. We are never too broken to be fixed; all it takes is finding the right person to help put us back together, whether it be a consulting detective or a cyborg mechanic. John does get better, too. Sherlock makes it a point to ask if John is eating, and John eats full meals once again, something he was not used to doing during his time living alone. John even puts on weight because he’s been eating more, showing how much he has overcome through Sherlock’s companionship.
The quote from Winter is central to the idea in the text. Each character has internal struggle they must overcome. Amidst the fighting and the chaos, the characters are battling themselves. Though the conflict seems never ending, the bonds the characters form help each other through them. While many of these bonds are romantic (because what YA novel wouldn't be complete without every character being paired up with each other at the end? It's so realistic), there are also so many bonds of friendship, such as Cinder and Iko, who say this to each other more than once throughout the novel (and as we all know, repetitions of a word or phrase are always worth noticing). Being a supportive friend is a big commitment for these misfit teens, too. They struggle enough to cope with their action-packed and often threatened lives, much less interpersonal bonds on top of it all. However, they care about each other to the extent that they are willing to compromise lifestyles for the satisfaction of being together, such as when the book says, “if she wanted to be a part of his future, she’d have to be a part of it all” (Meyer 1246). Friendship is such a strong bond, though, and they still stay loyal to each other and care for each other through the many hardships they face. This idea of friendship helping to heal is an important one. Considering the book has nine main characters who all have troubled pasts, the bonds they form and the healing that takes place is a central to the plot. Even though the quote was said in a private setting, it applies to the entire piece. When all hope is lost (which, it seems to be on more than one occasion), the power of friendship can still be at work to help extract us from our woes (aww).
I hope y’all read the Lunar Chronicles and watch Sherlock! If you do, I’d be happy to fangirl over them with you :). Feel free to comment below!