The Knife of Never Letting Go
Patrick Ness
Contributed by Carey Speaks
Chapter 41
Summary

When Aaron appears, Todd warns him to put his gun down. Todd realizes that Aaron is the sacrifice, as the only way for him to become a man in his town was to first kill another man. Aaron sets aside his gun and tells Todd to kill him so that he becomes a man. He views his death as a sacrifice. They begin fighting when Aaron shows him how he wanted to hurt and kill Ben and Viola. Aaron pushes Viola and Todd starts punching Aaron. Viola finally plunges the knife into Aaron’s neck and his Noise stops.

Analysis

When Aaron says, “A clever mind is a friend of the devil,” he confirms Todd’s suspicions (Ness 349). “A man dies, a man is born” was the only way for a boy to transition into a man in Prentisstown (Ness 350). Aaron wanted to make sure that Todd killed him in the most brutal way, emphasizing that hate was the driver and fire that purified soldiers. Aaron sees himself as the best sacrifice for Todd to kill because he was a priest and his death will be viewed as that of a martyr. The chapter reveals that Aaron’s initial perception of Viola as a sacrifice was because he wanted Todd to kill her. The author uses a poetic verse style for most this chapter to show how the event leading to Aaron’s death unfold.

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