The Knife of Never Letting Go
Patrick Ness
Contributed by Carey Speaks
Chapter 21
Summary

Todd and Viola are tired when they hear the sound of running water. Todd finally lets Viola read the book, which reveals that the Mayor was planning to wait until all the men in the town turn into men to use them as an army to invade the other settlements. Todd was supposed to use the journal to warn Farbranch about the Mayor’s plans. He explains to Viola the concept behind the rite of passage. They take turns sleeping and talk about the settlers planning to join the New World. They decide not to warn the next settlement. Manchee hears a noise and runs towards it.

Analysis

When Viola reads the book, it reveals to the readers the Mayor’s plans to take over the other settlements, which might explain why the Prentisstown men were isolated in the first place. This revelation reveals the character of the men in Prentisstown. Todd was also welcomed in Farbranch because he was not yet a man himself, and therefore, not affiliated to the Mayor’s plans or Prentisstown history. The book also explains why the rite of passage for Prentisstown’s men involved killing another person as this was an essential part of making them ready to fight the outer world. According to Aaron, it was the day the innocence of a boy is wiped out and replaced with sin.

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