The Knife of Never Letting Go
Patrick Ness
Contributed by Carey Speaks
Chapter 42
Summary

Viola begins shaking with the realization that she has killed Aaron. As Todd calms her down, Mr. Prentiss appears and shoots Viola in the stomach. Todd fights with Mr. Prentiss and rushes out carrying Viola. When he gets to the city, he realizes that it is empty and he does not have any of the supplies because he left their bags on the cliff. Mayor Prentiss appears telling Todd that he wanted to have Todd all to himself and thus spread rumours about the army. Todd begs him to save Viola, and in exchange, he offers to join the army. He also finds out that Mayor Prentiss is currently the president of Haven.

Analysis

Todd comes to realize that Aaron was fulfilling a mission — “he did just what he promised…he made me fall” (Ness 366). Aaron’s intentions were to make sure that he angered Todd enough to make him hate and murder him. Although Viola was the one who killed him, he still succeeded in instilling the hate that drives the boys to become men in Prentisstown. Todd also realizes that “me and Viola are all we got, everything we have in the world” (Ness 375). While this statement can be used to refer to the lack of supplies left in the bags, it also shows how Todd and Viola have been left with no one else to rely on in the world. When the Mayor refers to Haven as the “New Prentisstown”, he intends to ensure everyone in Haven bows down to him. This sets a gloomy ending to the chapter and the book.

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