Scythe

by

Neal Shusterman

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Scythe: Chapter 40 Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
Scythe Curie writes that she watches the "bejewling" of new scythes with joy and with sadness, as she knows that they're the future—but they'll also eventually become so tired that they'll self-glean. The ceremony allows Curie to believe that they'll all choose to live forever.
Curie recognizes that within the Scythedom, scythes still, in theory, experience a complete life cycle, as they're the only ones who are able to control how and when they die. They are the most human by this logic.
Themes
Coming of Age Theme Icon
Mortality and Life Theme Icon
Citra and Rowan greet each other and then face Xenocrates. Mandela makes a speech and then says that Citra will receive the ring. The scythes cheer and Rowan congratulates Citra. Mandela asks Citra if she's chosen her Patron Historic and gives her the ring. Citra says she wants to be known as Scythe Anastasia Romanov. Xenocrates isn't pleased. He points out that the Russian czars were known for abusing power, and Anastasia Romanov didn't do anything of note. Citra meets his eyes and says that Anastasia was killed by a corrupt system and, had she lived, she could've changed the world. Citra says she'd like to be the change that might have been. Scythes begin to applaud.
By choosing to take the name of Anastasia Romanov, Citra situates herself as a symbol of a brighter future for the Scythedom. This makes Rowan's black clothing and heartless actions seem especially dark and sinister by comparison, given that Citra is clearly differentiating herself from Scythe Goddard and others like him who wish to infuse the Scythedom with cruelty and unnecessary violence.
Themes
Coming of Age Theme Icon
Mortality and Life Theme Icon
Related Quotes
Rowan knows they made the right choice as Mandela asks Citra how she plans to glean Rowan. She asks for a blade and Rowan asks if they should give the assembly a show. Citra punches Rowan in the face in retaliation for breaking her neck. She then holds up the knife, but a scythe stands up and yells for her to stop. The ring of every nearby scythe is glowing red: Rowan has immunity. Rowan looks at Citra's bloody fist and ring and says she's a genius. Xenocrates accuses Citra of doing this on purpose and laughs when she denies it. Citra leans close to Rowan and tells him to grab some knives and get into the car outside the exit. He tells Citra he loves her.
Though Citra now has the education to decide how to most compassionately kill people, she also learned from Faraday that there's something to be said for making the choice to bend the rules and let people live. Especially since Citra is standing up for Rowan's right to live just as much as she's showing Xenocrates that he can't bully her, this allows her to show the entire Scythedom what she stands for now that she's ordained.
Themes
Coming of Age Theme Icon
Surveillance, Corruption, and Justice Theme Icon
Morality, Compassion, and Choices Theme Icon
Rowan takes three blades and fights his way to the door. Citra watches him go and when he's gone, she kisses her ring to feel a bit of Rowan's blood. Rowan leaps into the passenger side of the car and is shocked to see Scythe Faraday driving.
Alive and in hiding, Faraday offers Citra and Rowan the opportunity to call on him to work to make the Scythedom a better place from the outside.
Themes
Surveillance, Corruption, and Justice Theme Icon
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In her gleaning journal, Citra writes that humans have always been their own worst enemies. Though the wars of the past are, in theory, a thing of the past, Citra sees that the Scythedom is in danger of losing its conscience and becoming prideful and greedy. She's heard rumors that there an unordained scythe out there, whom people are calling Scythe Lucifer, taking out corrupt scythes with fire. Citra wants this to be true and also wants it to be false. She hopes that if she ever meets Scythe Lucifer, he'll see her as a good scythe.
The revelation that Rowan is out taking down corrupt scythes as Scythe Lucifer preps the reader for the next book in the series and makes it clear that there won't just be oversight within the Scythedom in the form of Citra and Curie; now, Rowan will be policing things outside the formal organization to help the old guard scythes make the world a better place.
Themes
Surveillance, Corruption, and Justice Theme Icon
Morality, Compassion, and Choices Theme Icon