Messenger

Messenger Chapter Fourteen Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
That evening, Kira says no to the notion of a “straightened, whole leg,” and says that this is who she is. She recounts for Matty about a time when, on a rainy day, she slipped and fell because it was hard to navigate the muddy paths with one foot and a stick. Matty then blurts out that he can fix Kira's leg with his gift. Kira says that she has a gift too, but it's in her hands. She begins to explain, but Matty cuts her off. He pierces his knee with a knife and then heals the cut with his hands. Kira inspects Matty's knee and then says simply, "I see." Matty says that it will take him a day to recover from fixing Kira's leg, during which time Kira will be able to get used to "being whole." She insists she is whole.
As far as Kira is concerned, her leg is an essential, fundamental part of who she is and isn't something she wishes to change. It's important to note that while Matty does use his gift here against Leader's wishes, he uses it only on himself, not on anyone or for the greater good. This enables him to maintain his strength and his power and behave in such a way as to make it easier for him to perform his necessary tasks later in the novel.
Themes
Youth, Memory, and the Future Theme Icon
Identity and Difference Theme Icon
Related Quotes
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Matty suggests that Kira lie on the couch so he can fix her leg. He moves his chair over, but Kira ignores him and does the dishes instead. She refuses to argue and finally, Matty pulls his chair in front of the fire. After a bit, Kira grabs one of her embroideries and joins Matty. She says that she'll go with him, but she'll go as she is. She tells Matty to move closer so he can see her gift. Matty scoots over and looks at the embroidery, which is a landscape of Forest with Village in the distant background. Kira says that sometimes, when she embroiders, the threads move of their own accord. She asks Matty to watch.
Kira's depiction of Forest allows her to see what's going on and interpret it. It gives her a bird's eye view of the world, which in turn enables her to pay attention to changes and events on a grander scale than just her immediate surroundings. In this way she's like Matty and Jean in that, because of who she is in society, she is better able to observe and understand how things function.
Themes
Youth, Memory, and the Future Theme Icon
Humans and Nature Theme Icon
Identity and Difference Theme Icon
As Kira works, her hands vibrate and shimmer. Her eyes closed, she embroiders and then tells Matty to look quickly, as the picture will fade. He sees himself, Frolic, and Kira preparing to enter Forest, while Seer is next to his home in Village. Matty also sees crowds of people, led by Mentor, piling up logs as though to build a wall. The image fades and Kira announces that they need to leave in the morning. Stunned, Matty says he doesn't understand. He admits he doesn't understand his own gift, but Kira explains that with her embroidery, she can see the future. She saw Matty coming and saw Seer waiting for her. She says that she's also seen Forest thickening. Matty asks if she's seen Leader, and though Kira hasn't, she says she's felt him.
Here, the novel suggests that understanding one's gift is an essential part of coming of age for those who have these special powers. When Kira says that she's felt Leader and repeats Leader's phrasing about Forest "thickening," it suggests that there's a spiritual community of sorts between those who have these gifts that allows them to interpret together what's going on in the world. Indeed, Kira and Leader seem to have similar gifts in their ability to see and understand things far beyond their immediate circumstances.
Themes
Selfishness vs. the Collective Good Theme Icon
Humans and Nature Theme Icon
Identity and Difference Theme Icon