The Knife of Never Letting Go
Patrick Ness
Contributed by Carey Speaks
Chapter 33

As Todd and Viola go to the kitchen to find food, there is loud music playing which helps men to keep their thoughts to themselves. Viola points out the difference in leadership between this settlement and the others that they have come across. In Carbonel Downs, men make the rules while women and children live outside the main camp. The elders want to speak to Todd because refugees from other towns are coming to the settlement for support. Viola tells him that they stayed in the boat for almost two days and that they are currently two days away from Haven. Todd hears Ben’s song as they head to the doctor’s house.


Inequality between genders is seen in this chapter. The role of women in CabonelDowns is clearly defined: “They clean and they cook, and they make babies, and they all live in a big dormitory outside of town where they can’t interfere in men’s business” (Ness 283). Male chauvinism is also seen through their disregard of Viola’s warning. She informs Todd that they would not listen to a word she said about the army and kept referring to her as a little girl while patting her on the head. The only reason they were interested in speaking to Todd was the refugees who had started approaching them.

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