Scythe

by

Neal Shusterman

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Scythe: Chapter 16 Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
In his gleaning journal, Scythe Goddard rails against how the other scythes tried to direct his behavior at conclave. He says that he gleans with pride, and that scythes are above the law because they deserve to be. He wants scythes to love what they do, since their world is perfect.
Goddard's entry would suggest that he didn't actually accuse himself—though it's also possible that, since he knows his journal is open to the public, he's not telling the truth here either. Either way, there's no oversight for this since the Thunderhead cannot control him.
Themes
Surveillance, Corruption, and Justice Theme Icon
Morality, Compassion, and Choices Theme Icon
An executive, Maxim Easley, opens the door of his mansion to find Scythe Goddard and his followers on his doorstep. He maintains a poker face as he learns that his gate guards have been gleaned and lets the scythes in. Goddard introduces himself and Scythes Volta, Chomsky, and Rand. They compliment his home and ignore him when he asks what their business is. Rand and Volta start to explore the house as Maxim's panic rises. He asks if Goddard knows who he is, and Goddard seems not to. Chomsky recognizes Maxim's name as being the face of a "turncorner" company (a company that reduces people's physical age) and laughs.
Notice here that it's unclear whether Goddard truly doesn't know who Maxim is, or if he's just messing with him. Either way, Goddard is certainly enjoying Maxim's panic, which continues to show the reader how mean and power-hungry Goddard is. This is especially true in situations like this, when Goddard is tormenting the general population. They have no way to stand up to him and absolutely no leverage; in this passage, readers know that Goddard will get what he wants, no matter what Maxim says.
Themes
Surveillance, Corruption, and Justice Theme Icon
Morality, Compassion, and Choices Theme Icon
Desperately, Maxim tries to offer Goddard anything. Goddard says he wants Maxim's estate and puts a knife to Maxim's throat when Maxim tries to offer him his mortal-age cars. Goddard removes the knife and asks about the size of Maxim's staff. Scythe Rand returns, dragging the pool boy. Chomsky touches the young man and he collapses dead. Chomsky looks delighted. Goddard offers Maxim, his family, and his staff immunity for every year he chooses to stay at the estate. Maxim kisses the ring, but is confused when Goddard tells him to resign from his position at work—Goddard needs a new pool boy.
Chomsky's delight at what seems to be the poison from conclave indicates that Goddard's followers are just as coldhearted as Goddard is, especially since they seem unperturbed about killing the pool boy in front of Maxim and make no attempts, like Faraday might have, to comfort Maxim or make the pool boy's death feel meaningful or necessary at all.
Themes
Morality, Compassion, and Choices Theme Icon