Mare Barrow, the main character in the book Red Queen, was faced with tough times followed up by harder decisions. Mare’s biggest choice that changed her whole life was choosing to join the Scarlet Guard after she met with Will and Farley. Considering her situation, that might have been a reasonable option. But, when you think about the effects of that choice, the negatives outweigh the positives. For example, later in the book Mare joining the Scarlet Guard ruined her sister’s career, put her in a bad situation when she met Cal, and then continues to cause problems for her even as royalty.
Mare’s future consisted of being forced into the military, with no way out beside the Scarlet Guard at the time. The first complication Mare’s decision caused was the breaking of her sister Gisa’s hand, ruining her career. Gisa was an embroider, a very good one. She had a bright future ahead of her and was given opportunities no other Red was given. Mare herself even said, “…what I’ve done to Gisa, how I’ve failed Kilorn, how I’ve destroyed everything.” Farley, a Scarlet Guard member, told Mare she needed a certain amount of money to gain her trust and be allowed to enter the Scarlet Guard. The amount needed was impossible in Mare’s eyes, so she asked her sister to help. Gisa took matters into her own hands and gets caught trying to pickpocket. Consequently, a cop smashes her hand as a punishment. This could’ve been avoided if Mare didn’t need a ridiculous amount of money.
Secondly, agreeing to the Scarlet Guard was the wrong decision because it leads to Mare meeting Cal. Following the incident with Gisa, Mare is very upset and doesn’t know what to do. Her feet lead her outside of a tavern, pickpocketing. She loses track of time pickpocketing one person after the other. Eventually, she gets caught by a man. He lets her keep it giving her more money, in exchange that he gets to walk her home. Mare initially thinks she’s off the hook, but in the end, her actions have “consequences.” The man she pickpocketed turns out to be Prince Tiberias Calore. He grew fond of her, and later on, requests her as a servant at the palace. The job is completely against everything Mare stands for. If she wouldn’t have agreed to unify into the Scarlet Guard, she wouldn’t have been scrounging for money, wouldn’t have met Cal, and wouldn’t have gotten into the whole mess at the palace.
Lastly, Mare could have avoided lots of stress if she wouldn’t have agreed to the Scarlet Guard. Since Mare is part of the Scarlet Guard and is acting as Lady Titonos, she is practically living a double life. Working with the Scarlet Guard as a Red and giving them secret information she learns as Silver, Mareena Titonos. As you might have imagined this also causes problems for Mare as suspicions arise while more is discovered about the rebel group. After the bombing at the ball members of the Scarlet Guard are captured, and all fingers point to Mare. Even Cal is suspicious because Kilorn is one of the people captured and he knows that Mare and Kilorn are friends. Not only does Mare have to deal with other people, she also has the guilt weighing on her own shoulders and multiple times comes close to cracking. This all could’ve been avoided and she could’ve just been Lady Titonos and not risk if her life every day if she would’ve just refused the Scarlet Guard.
All in all, if I would’ve been put in Mare Barrow’s position I would not have made the decision she did. Instead, I would’ve figured out another escape option for Kilorn and I. Both characters have lots of survival skills, so surviving wouldn’t be a huge problem. The book would be different because then it would follow the journey of Mare and Kilorn, instead of just Mare’s struggles. Possibly even Mare discovering her powers on her own and resulting in the development of how she handles that situation.
In conclusion, Mare should’ve refused the Scarlet Guard. If so, she wouldn’t have ruined her sister’s career, wouldn’t have met Cal, and wouldn’t have risked her life every day as Mareena Titonos. Her life wouldn’t be all butterflies and rainbows, but she wouldn’t have a constant weight and guilt on her shoulders.