The Knife of Never Letting Go
Patrick Ness
Contributed by Carey Speaks
Chapter 36

Todd, Viola, and Ben start running to escape the army. When they reach the settlement, Ben tells Todd and Viola the truth about the Spackles. They did not, in fact, infect them with the Noise, as the Noise existed in the New World. The people killed the Spackles because they thought they had caused the Noise. Prentisstown inhabitants also killed all the women. Mayor Jessica Elizabeth (Matthew’s mother) was killed after she was caught sneaking some of the younger men out of the town. Prentisstown men were then declared criminals. Mr. Prentiss appears and Ben offers to distract him as Viola and Todd run away.


Viola continues to face culture shock in the New World, which is different from the spaceship she came from. She recalls that on the spaceship, the dead were burned for sanitary purposes: “We don't put them in holes” (Ness 303).

When Ben says, “War is a monster…War is the devil,” he implies that when a war begins, it is difficult to end the conflict between people and it turns normal people into heartless monsters (Ness 306). Todd is a product of the Mayor’s ability to create an army of his own, perfectly made to kill the likes of those just like Todd.

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