The Knife of Never Letting Go
Patrick Ness
Contributed by Carey Speaks
Chapter 10
Summary

The girl emerges from the shipwreck carrying a bag and starts a campfire to keep them warm. She offers Todd food, which he eats without considering Manchee’s needs. Todd tries thinking back to determine whether he might have heard the ship crashing but realizes that the Noise in Prentisstown could have drowned out the sound of the crash. When they stop to take a nap, they are woken up by the Noise of a cassor, a big bird, with large feet and claws that feed on rodents, which Todd feeds before they continue walking. Todd makes the realization that the girl came from a place without Noise. He begins wondering whether the Noise germ is going to kill her and whether she can hear his Noise.

Analysis

The cassor is an imaginary bird. Despite its enormous size, the bird is friendly to people. Todd remembers Ben’s description of the bird. Although it is harmless and lets people feed it, Todd states that it is not easy to find them because the new settlers in Prentisstown hunted them for food until they disappeared from the area. This sheds light on a characteristic of the settlers that is new to the reader. They lacked the ability to control their hunger and killed all the cassor birds in the area instead of rearing them to meet their long-term supply. The story about the cassor reveals to readers just how much Todd has learned from other men’s Noise.

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