Seeing Marlee get caned was a traumatizing event for America to witness and adds some complication to America’s relationship with the prince. The prince has already confessed that he loves America but he is giving her time. But after this event, America realizes that there would be no way that she could ever be able to be queen.
¨Maxon, I said slowly, I'm sorry but I don’t think I can do this. I could never stand by and watch someone get hurt like that, knowing it was my judgment that sent them there. I can’t be a princess¨ (pg 101).
Because of Marlee getting caned America realizes that she has to be very careful when she meets up with her old love Aspen in the palace or risk the same thing happening to her. If that hadn't happened, America may have been more reckless.
¨That could have been Aspen. That could have been me.¨ (Pg 99)
Immediately after Marlee got caned, the rest of the girls get into a fight over whether Marlee deserved what she got and while America defends her friend, Celeste does not and so America and Celeste get into a fight.
¨Celeste mumbled into her magazine, got what she deserved, whore.¨ (Pg 111)
America is realizing after she has to hide from the rebels that they had somehow managed to get in two days in a row, she is also confused that they were only carrying books on them and that one of then curtsied to her.
¨How was it possible that the rebels had gotten into the palace two days in a row? Two days in a row!¨ (Pg 163)
This event propels the plot of the story because if the rebels hadn’t attacked in broad daylight, then America wouldn’t have been able to discover some things. One of those revelations being after America has to run in the line of fire when the rebels attacked and she sees Maxon fighting to get to her and keep her safe, she realizes how much Maxon cares about their safety and knows that Maxon would have stopped Marlee’s caning if he could.
¨I understand now. If you’re that concerned with our safety, you couldn’t have wanted to do that to Marlee. I’m sure you would have stopped it if you could¨ (168)
After the attack on the palace by the rebels and America realizing that Maxon had good intentions with Marlee all along, Maxon decides to reveal that he saved Marlee and was keeping her in the palace the whole time. America is very happy and decides to keep going with the selection and is happy again.
¨Marlee was here. And I was holding her hand.¨ (Pg 193)