Caste System Facts (1)
Not much is known of how the caste system in Illéa started. Although it was hinted that people’s castes were based on the amount of money their family donated to the government during the first war with New Asia. When a character is first mentioned, there is generally a note made of what caste they are in. Eight is the lowest caste and One is the highest in The Selection Series.
When the caste system first started, America's ancestors were sent a letter stating they were now Fives and their last names had been changed from “Cohen” to “Singer.”
It is said that when a female gets married, they will take the caste of their husband. This is why Aspen did not want to marry America in the beginning of the story: he did not want to force her to move lower down the caste system, to a Six, and suffer what he was suffering.
In the end of The One, Maxon Schreave is named King when his father was killed by Southern Rebels; he had been making plans to take down the Caste System, and he described to America that it was going to be a long process, starting with the Eights merging with the Sevens and so on.
Carter and Marlee Woodwork had the honor of becoming the first casteless citizens before the abolishment of the castes was even publicly announced. Thus, their son Kile was among the first children in Illéa who were born without a caste.
By the beginning of The Heir, the castes had been completely removed for a few years. The Illéan people actually rejoiced and celebrated about the removal of the castes, but King Maxon and Queen America then faced conflicts on the provinces because the labels were not removed in people’s minds.
Nowadays, a lot of family names in Illéa reveal the previous caste of the family. Baden Trains probably comes from a family of Seven. Tavish Plowholder’s and Winslow Fields’s families might have been farmers and Paisley Fisher’s were probably fishers, thus Fours. Harrison Driver’s father might be a driver, thus a Six.