Gathering Blue

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Gathering Blue Chapter 6 Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
The bell at the Council Edifice rings four times, and Kira and Matt meet at the steps outside. Kira is carrying an armful of things she stored near her house: threads, cloth, and soap. She notices that Matt is always dirty, even though he probably has a mother somewhere. Matt is carrying the objects he saved from the cott fire; he offers to carry them through the Edifice for Kira. Kira accepts Matt’s help, but tells Matt to wait while she goes inside the building to ask if Matt can accompany her.
Kira’s armful of possessions indicates the things that are important to her: weaving, and taking care of herself. In both cases, her values make her different from the other villagers. Matt proves that he’s a loyal friend, and one of the few people who’s willing to act selflessly instead of selfishly.
Themes
Self-Interest versus Compassion  Theme Icon
Power and Freedom Theme Icon
In the large room of the Council Edifice, Jamison is waiting for Kira. As she sees him waiting, she feels slightly irritated, since she is old enough to take care of herself. Indeed, she’d be preparing for marriage if it weren’t for her leg. Kira tells Jamison that Matt is waiting outside with the rest of her possessions, and Jamison orders the guard to bring Matt and his dog inside.
Even in the few days covered since the book began, Kira has shown signs of maturing. Here, she shows irritation that others are caring for her—it’s as if the experiences she’s been through recently are teaching her to grow up at an accelerated rate. Jamison seems severe, but also fairly reasonable—even though the Council Edifice is a private building, he’s willing to let Matt come inside.
Themes
Power and Freedom Theme Icon
Pain and Maturity Theme Icon
Once the guards have brought Matt and his dog to Kira, Jamison leads the three of them through the corridor of the Edifice to Kira’s new quarters. Matt and Branch stay outside the room, since Branch has fleas, a fact which amuses Jamison. Inside, Kira is amazed with her new home, since she’s used to sleeping on a dirty floor and eating off a simple wooden table with handmade utensils. Her new room has many tables, a raised wooden bed, and windows. Jamison shows her that she has access to drawers of threads and other supplies for repairing the Singer’s robe, which is kept in another drawer in her quarters.
Kira’s reaction to her new lodgings reinforces how hard her old life was. Objects as simple as a bed and windows dazzle her, but only because she’s never had them before. Even with this early description of her room, it’s clear that Kira is here for one reason only: to weave the Singer’s robe. Thus Jamison makes a point of showing her the supplies in her drawers.
Themes
Art and Creative Instinct Theme Icon
Power and Freedom Theme Icon
Pain and Maturity Theme Icon
Jamison shows Kira a bathtub with running water. He offers Matt the chance to bathe, but Matt says that he and his dog must leave. He asks Kira if she’s a captive, a suggestion that Jamison quickly denies. Jamison tells Kira that Thomas, the boy who carved Jamison’s ornament, lives nearby in the building. With these words, he leads Matt and the dog out of the building, leaving Kira alone in her new home.
Though Jamison quickly dismisses Matt’s question about whether Kira is a prisoner, once Matt’s brought it up, we can’t stop thinking about it. It’s also in this section that we begin to get a better idea of how the Council works: other artists have been brought to the Edifice, presumably to do work similar to Kira’s
Themes
Power and Freedom Theme Icon
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That night, Kira finds it difficult to fall asleep, despite her new bed, because of all that happened to her that day. She looks at the moon through her window, and thinks of the things lying around her in the room, including her all-important threading frame, which Matt brought her. Matt has also brought Kira dried herbs, which Katrina used as medicines. She also thinks about her dinner that night: she was served a delicious soup with meat and vegetables in it. It was the most elegant, and the loneliest meal she’d ever eaten.
Kira shows that she’s feeling ambivalent about her new life. While she has more property and more luxury than every before, she’s also lonely—property can’t replace her mother, who died less than a week ago. At times, Jamison has behaved like a kind of father figure, taking care of Kira and giving her a home. Yet it’s clear that he’s no replacement for Kira’s real parents. He wants her in the Edifice not for herself but for her work.
Themes
Pain and Maturity Theme Icon
In bed, Kira feels the object she’s put around her neck: a small rock pendant that her mother used to wear, and which Matt brought her. The rock feels small and cold, and doesn’t bring her any comfort. She touches her cloth, which she’s placed under her pillow. The cloth feels warm and comforting. Kira falls asleep. When she wakes up, the cloth is limp and insignificant-looking.
The pendant around Kira’s neck is similar to the cloth in her pocket—it externalizes her innermost feelings. But more obviously than in the case of the cloth, the pendant unites Kira with her mother. This shows that Kira isn’t ready to move on entirely—she’s still thinking about her past, both her parents and her old life.
Themes
Art and Creative Instinct Theme Icon
Self-Interest versus Compassion  Theme Icon
Pain and Maturity Theme Icon