Scythe

Scythe Chapter 23 Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
Scythe Goddard writes that his purpose is the opposite of the Thunderhead's. While the Thunderhead sustains humanity, he "prunes" it. He also believes that it's freeing to no longer have a relationship with the Thunderhead. Without it, Goddard himself is the most powerful entity he knows. He sees nothing wrong with his gleaning methods.
Goddard reveals here that he doesn't actually believe that what he does is necessarily good for humanity. Instead, it's good for him, as it gives him more power. This makes it abundantly clear that corruption is alive and well within the Scythedom.
Themes
Surveillance, Corruption, and Justice Theme Icon
Citra begins spending an hour or two every day on Scythe Curie's computer, looking through the "backbrain" of the Thunderhead for anything that would help her piece together what happened on Scythe Faraday's last day. She misses Thunderhead's intrusions and offers of help, especially when she realizes that the backbrain is arranged like a real brain, with associations between concepts rather than associations by location. The Scythedom has algorithms to search the backbrain, but Citra knows she can't ask Curie if she can use them. Citra wonders if the Thunderhead is watching her and finally realizes that she can manipulate the Thunderhead. She asks to visit home and Curie agrees.
This passage suggests that Thunderhead is really a symbol for an idealized version of humanity, though one that's still frustrating for someone who can't interact with it properly. The realization that Citra can manipulate the Thunderhead keeps the fact that normal humans, like Citra and Rowan themselves, can also be manipulated into believing all manner of things. It reminds the reader that humans aren't infallible.
Themes
Surveillance, Corruption, and Justice Theme Icon
Morality, Compassion, and Choices Theme Icon
Curie walks Citra up to her family's apartment. Citra feels as though she's longing for something and notices that her dad's hug seems obligatory. Ben is in awe of Curie, especially after Curie leaves. Citra's mom is shocked that Curie is still around, while her dad asks if Citra knows what name she'll take after she's ordained. Citra suggests a walk. Being out with her family is somewhat awkward; only Ben behaves normally. Citra leads them past Faraday's old house and makes a point of taking family photos from similar angles as every public camera.
That Ben still idolizes Scythe Curie drives home for Citra how young Ben is and how much she's changed since she began her apprenticeship with Faraday. She now has little in common with her blood family and instead, shares more with the Scythedom, a family of sorts that she hopes to join. This indicates again that Citra's coming of age happens as she moves away from her family and into a purposeful life in the Scythedom.
Themes
Coming of Age Theme Icon
On the ride home, Citra asks Curie if anyone ever calls her by the name she was born with. Slowly, Curie says that she's not in contact with her family, and nobody knows her by her given name. She finally says that she was born Susan. When they get home, Citra uploads her photos to the Thunderhead and sneaks out of bed late at night to revisit them. She begins to explore the links between her photos and those taken in the same locations.
Learning Curie's given name allows Citra to connect more deeply with her mentor and see her more as a multifaceted, flawed individual instead of just as the Grande Dame of Death. Curie's choice to share this information suggests that she's also growing closer to Citra and wants to make sure that Citra can make these connections and see she's human.
Themes
Coming of Age Theme Icon
Morality, Compassion, and Choices Theme Icon
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