Scythe

by

Neal Shusterman

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Scythe: Chapter 29 Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
In his journal, Rowan writes that he's apprenticed to a monster. He agrees with Scythe Faraday that nobody who loves killing should be a scythe, and he admits that he's afraid he's becoming a monster. Rowan tears the page out, burns it, and then writes about his training and how motivating Scythe Goddard is.
Goddard's choice to read Rowan's journals is a conscious one to deprive Rowan of any privacy and through doing so, make it harder for Rowan to meditate on any of Scythe Faraday's teachings.
Themes
Surveillance, Corruption, and Justice Theme Icon
On Citra and Scythe Curie's first day back at Falling Water, Citra confesses that she's been researching Faraday's murder. Curie is shocked and disgusted with herself for not knowing what Citra was doing. When Citra admits that she told Rowan, Curie says that Rowan's choice to break Citra's neck suggests he's in league with Goddard. She tells Citra to forget this, achieve scythehood, and fight the scandal from the inside. Citra agrees, but feels like Curie is hiding something.
Again, Curie shows here that she believes fully in the scythehood's ability to police itself and perform proper oversight—provided there are enough good scythes, like her and Citra, in the mix. Citra's suspicion that Curie is hiding something indicates that while Citra may see the logic of this, she's still not willing to fully trust the Scythedom around her.
Themes
Surveillance, Corruption, and Justice Theme Icon
Related Quotes
The next day, while Curie is at the market, two BladeGuard officers come to Curie's home and ask Citra to come with them. They refuse to show her badges and Citra attacks them. One shocks her and she comes to in a car, handcuffed. They accuse her of murdering Faraday. Because Citra is a member of the Scythedom, her fate is in the hands of Xenocrates. At his residence, she sits in a chair and refutes the changes. Scythe Mandela accuses Citra of trying to erase evidence of killing Faraday from the Thunderhead's backbrain. He pulls out his evidence: one of Faraday's journal entries, saying that his apprentice comes to his door at night and he's afraid she's going to kill him.
This event suggests that "the girl" that Xenocrates and Goddard were discussing was likely Citra, allowing the reader to understand that this is a false accusation with political motivation. Remember too that because the Scythedom is entirely separate from the Thunderhead, the Thunderhead has no power to step in and either free Citra or punish Xenocrates for engaging in unethical behavior like this.
Themes
Surveillance, Corruption, and Justice Theme Icon
Morality, Compassion, and Choices Theme Icon
Citra is shaken, especially when Mandela says that whoever killed Faraday used Faraday's ring to bribe witnesses with immunity. Mandela leaves. Xenocrates says that he's been studying "tor-turé" from the Age of Mortality, which is inflicting physical suffering until a person confesses. He says that he will "tor-turé" Citra if she doesn't sign a confession. If she signs, she'll be held in an old prison and after Winter Conclave, Rowan will glean her. Xenocrates gives her a pen and as Mandela opens the door to witness her signature, Citra punches Xenocrates. She pushes past Mandela and jumps off the building to splat.
The way that Xenocrates pronounces torture (it would be pronounced tor-tur-ay as written) makes it clear just how far from the mortal age Citra's world is. In Citra's world, torture is so antiquated of an idea, nobody even knows how to pronounce the word anymore. This reminds the reader how far removed from death and fear this world is.
Themes
Mortality and Life Theme Icon
Morality, Compassion, and Choices Theme Icon
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Xenocrates isn't concerned until he sees that Nimbus agents—people who work for the Thunderhead—are the ones scraping Citra off the pavement. An agent says that while Citra is dead, she's under the Thunderhead's jurisdiction. Xenocrates threatens to glean the agent, but she points out that that would look biased. He screams in her face.
The revelation that the Thunderhead has human agents that work for it suggest that the Thunderhead may be more involved in day-to-day life than previously thought—and, given that it's taking Citra from Xenocrates, may fulfill Curie's hope that it will step in in times of need.
Themes
Mortality and Life Theme Icon
Surveillance, Corruption, and Justice Theme Icon
Morality, Compassion, and Choices Theme Icon