Literature Study GuidesReady Player OneLevel 1 Chapter 0009 Summary

Ready Player One | Study Guide

Ernest Cline

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Ready Player One | Level 1, Chapter 0009 | Summary



Parzival realizes that the avatar confronting him inside the tomb is none other than Art3mis, the author of his favorite blog. She has been coming to the tomb for weeks but has been unable to defeat Acererak at Joust. Parzival is in a hurry to reach the First Gate, so he lies and says he lost to Acererak. Art3mis is suspicious and suggests he stay and battle Acererak with her when the tomb resets at midnight.

She detains him through conversation, and Parzival finds himself distracted by his attraction to her. When Art3mis checks the virtual scoreboard and realizes Parzival beat Acererak, she is furious; she uses a spell to erect a stone wall that temporarily prevents him from leaving. Parzival says if he wins the prize, he will buy a spacecraft and search for a better planet than Earth. Art3mis says if she wins, she will use the money to end world hunger and solve the global energy crisis.


Parzival has long had romantic feelings for Art3mis, but this is the first time he has encountered her avatar. Upon meeting her Parzival is conflicted; he wants to engage with her, but he also wants to be the first to reach the First Gate. She is the object of his desire, but she is also his direct competitor, and Parzival has no problem lying to her about having defeated Acererak. He realizes that giving in to his romantic feelings could prevent his success.

Art3mis is brash, confident, and as well prepared as Parzival, with one important difference: she lacks Parzival's skill at Joust. Realizing Art3mis is a worthy competitor, Parzival makes a suggestion he hopes will help Art3mis defeat Acererak. Both Art3mis and Parzival are conflicted about the extent to which they should act as competitors or collaborators. Their interaction, like the interaction between Parzival and Aech, is marked by this tension.

Parzival and Art3mis have vastly different plans for the prize money. Parzival's plan is selfish and escapist; he would leave the declining planet and its struggling masses and go somewhere better. In contrast Art3mis's plan demonstrates great compassion; she would use the money to eradicate suffering and restore balance on Earth. Parzival and Art3mis are equally driven to find the prize, but while Art3mis is motivated by hope and altruism, Parzival is motivated by fear and cynicism.

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