Scythe

by

Neal Shusterman

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Scythe Curie Character Analysis

An old and famous scythe known as the Grande Dame of Death, as she gleaned the last president and his cabinet more than 150 years before the novel begins. She wears lavender robes, has long gray hair, and has an intense and uncomfortable stare. She also adores old cars from the mortal age. Though Citra suspects that Curie doesn't like her, Curie steps forward to assume the role of Citra's mentor when Scythe Faraday self-gleans. Citra mostly feels okay about this, as Faraday respected Curie, and Citra knows that Curie is an old guard, compassionate scythe. Curie teaches Citra about how to be truly compassionate, especially to the families of those she gleans. While she gleans people suddenly and without warning, she always invites the bereaved to her home for dinner. While the families are there, Curie listens to them talk about their deceased loved ones, thereby sharing in their grief and giving the families a sense of closure. Citra finds this very meaningful and grows to respect Curie for the way she handles gleaning. The two form a trusting bond that means Curie has no qualms about helping Citra escape the MidMerican Scythedom after Xenocrates accuses Citra of killing Faraday. Curie admits to Citra that the evidence Xenocrates used (Faraday's journal entry saying he fears his female apprentice might kill him) is actually about her: she was once his apprentice but was in love with him, not murderous. Citra discovers not long after that their relationship still runs deep, as Curie is the only scythe who knows that Faraday is alive and in retirement in Amazonia. Curie's gleaning journal entries, which begin most of the novel's chapters, offer insight into the history of the immortal world as well as insight into how she conceptualizes her job. She makes it clear that being a scythe is grueling, though she tries her best to hold onto her humanity and make it known that she cares deeply for her victims.

Scythe Curie Quotes in Scythe

The Scythe quotes below are all either spoken by Scythe Curie or refer to Scythe Curie. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Coming of Age Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Simon & Schuster edition of Scythe published in 2017.
Chapter 1 Quotes

Perhaps that is why we must, by law, keep a record. A public journal, testifying to those who will never die and those who are yet to be born, as to why we human beings do the things we do. We are instructed to write down not just our deeds but our feelings, because it must be known that we do have feelings. Remorse. Regret. Sorrow too great to bear. Because if we didn't feel those things, what monsters would we be?

Related Characters: Scythe Curie (speaker)
Page Number: 3
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 5 Quotes

When it was decided that people needed to die in order to ease the tide of population growth, it was also decided that this must be the responsibility of humans. Bridge repair and urban planning could be handled by the Thunderhead, but taking a life was an act of conscience and consciousness. Since it could not be proven that the Thunderhead had either, the Scythedom was born.

Related Characters: Scythe Curie (speaker), Scythe Goddard
Related Symbols: Thunderhead
Page Number: 54
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 7 Quotes

"But people could read it. The Scythe Archive is open to everyone."

"Yeah," said Rowan, "like the Thunderhead. People can read anything, but no one does. All they do is play games and watch cat holograms."

Related Symbols: Thunderhead
Page Number: 82
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 15 Quotes

The Scythedom uses the Thunderhead for countless tasks—but to us, it's simply a database. A tool, nothing more. As an entity—as a mind—the Thunderhead does not exist for us.

And yet it does, and we know it.

Estrangement from the collective consciousness of humanity's wisdom is just one more thing that sets scythes apart from others.

Related Characters: Scythe Curie (speaker)
Related Symbols: Thunderhead
Page Number: 155
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 18 Quotes

"Every scythe has his or her own method. That happens to be mine. In the Age of Mortality, death would often come with no warning. It is our task to mimic what we've stolen from nature—and so that is the face of death I've chosen to recreate. My gleanings are always instantaneous and always public, lest people forget what we do, and why we must do it."

Related Characters: Scythe Curie (speaker), Citra Terranova
Page Number: 191
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 22 Quotes

"We believe in the Great Vibration, and that it will free us from being stagnant."

Stagnant.

It was the word Scythe Curie used to describe the people she chose to glean.

Related Characters: Brother Ferguson (speaker), Citra Terranova, Scythe Curie
Page Number: 227
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 27 Quotes

"I was headstrong and stupid in my early days. I thought that by gleaning just the right people at just the right time, I could change the world for the better. I believed, in my arrogance, that I had a keen grasp of the big picture that others lack. But of course, I was just as limited as everyone else."

Related Characters: Scythe Curie (speaker), Citra Terranova, Scythe Goddard
Page Number: 273
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 28 Quotes

Would the Thunderhead grieve our passing, I wonder? And if so, would it grieve as the child who has lost a parent, or as the parent who could not save a petulant child from its own poor choices?

Related Characters: Scythe Curie (speaker)
Related Symbols: Thunderhead
Page Number: 294
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 29 Quotes

"But if this really is a scandal in the Scythedom—"

"—then your best possible position would be to achieve scythehood yourself, and fight it from the inside."

Page Number: 319
Explanation and Analysis:
Get the entire Scythe LitChart as a printable PDF.
Scythe PDF

Scythe Curie Character Timeline in Scythe

The timeline below shows where the character Scythe Curie appears in Scythe. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 1
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In her gleaning journal, Scythe Curie explains that all scythes must keep a record of the "innocents" they glean. She insists... (full context)
Chapter 2
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In her gleaning journal, Scythe Curie writes that gleaning is difficult, even though it's necessary. Now, there are no diseases or... (full context)
Chapter 3
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In her gleaning journal, Scythe Curie offers the history of her world. In 2042, "computational power became infinite" and "the cloud"... (full context)
Chapter 4
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Scythe Curie writes that she just had her cultural audit, which returns the ethnic breakdown of the... (full context)
Chapter 5
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Scythe Curie writes that humanity's greatest achievement was ending government. As "the cloud" transformed into the Thunderhead,... (full context)
Chapter 6
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Scythe Curie lists the Scythe Commandments. They are to kill without bias or malice; to give the... (full context)
Chapter 7
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Scythe Curie writes that she used to wonder why she never saw scythes out and about in... (full context)
Chapter 8
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Scythe Curie admits that there are things that even scythes don't understand. Earlier, a woman asked Curie... (full context)
Chapter 9
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Scythe Curie records a poem written by one of the first scythes. It reminds her that despite... (full context)
Chapter 10
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Scythe Curie muses about whether there's ever been a time when people weren't bored. She thinks of... (full context)
Chapter 11
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Scythe Curie writes that humans aren't what they once were. Now, humans cannot grasp the emotions expressed... (full context)
Chapter 12
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Scythe Curie writes that she sometimes mourns for all the things that humans lost when they became... (full context)
Chapter 13
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Scythe Curie writes about the quota system. She wonders if it will ever change. The population is... (full context)
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...elaborate breakfast spread. Faraday points out several notable scythes to Citra and Rowan, including Scythe Curie, who's known as the Grande Dame of Death. Citra notices a scythe in blue robes... (full context)
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Lunch is a lavish buffet and uncharacteristically, Faraday fills his plate. Curie approaches Rowan and Citra and tells them that for scythes who take their vows seriously,... (full context)
Chapter 14
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Scythe Curie writes in her journal that she believes people still fear death, just not as much... (full context)
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...and Rowan join the other six apprentices in lining up in front of the assembly. Curie steps forward to examine the apprentices with one question each. The first boy fails his... (full context)
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Curie then asks Rowan what he fears most. Rowan nonchalantly insists he's not afraid of anything,... (full context)
Chapter 15
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Scythe Curie writes that she sometimes wishes she could have a relationship with the Thunderhead. Others call... (full context)
Chapter 17
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Scythe Curie writes in support of the rule that scythes can't glean each other, as well as... (full context)
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...as he says that two scythes have offered to take over the teens' training. Scythe Curie will take Citra, while Scythe Goddard will take Rowan. (full context)
Chapter 18
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Scythe Curie writes that she's never taken an apprentice, as she doesn't want to subject someone else... (full context)
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Scythe Curie takes Citra to her home near the eastern edge of MidMerica. The house is called... (full context)
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Citra wakes up hours later when Curie flips on the light in her room. Curie asks if Citra forgot about dinner and... (full context)
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After blueberry pancakes the next morning, Curie and Citra go out gleaning. Curie drives an antique Porsche and explains that it was... (full context)
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Citra shouts that Curie didn't give the man warning, and Curie angrily orders Citra to lie flat on the... (full context)
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The family arrives at Curie's home that evening. Curie grants them immunity immediately and then she and Citra serve dinner.... (full context)
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Citra understands, but thinks Curie's offer didn't do much good—she or Rowan will still have to glean the other. Citra... (full context)
Chapter 19
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Curie writes about a mortal age cartoon in which a coyote tries repeatedly to kill a... (full context)
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That night, Citra asks how Scythe Curie knew she was lying during her test at conclave and admits that she pushed a... (full context)
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...eating ramen when her terrified mother sends her to the door to speak to "them." Curie tells Rhonda they're not here to glean, so Rhonda closes the door. Citra explains that... (full context)
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Citra is both relieved and humiliated. On the way home, Curie points out that in the Age of Mortality, Citra's transgression would've been called "murder," and... (full context)
Chapter 21
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Scythe Curie writes that those who revere scythes disturb her. Plenty of people want to be scythes,... (full context)
Chapter 22
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Scythe Curie writes that the only natural death left is death by fire. She finds it comforting... (full context)
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Citra spends her days training and gleaning with Curie. She learns to recognize the signs of "stagnation," though she questions whether it's a good... (full context)
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Curie leaves reaching out to the families of the gleaned to Citra. Citra discovers that this... (full context)
Chapter 23
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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... (full context)
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Curie walks Citra up to her family's apartment. Citra feels as though she's longing for something... (full context)
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On the ride home, Citra asks Curie if anyone ever calls her by the name she was born with. Slowly, Curie says... (full context)
Chapter 27
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Scythe Curie writes that there's no official media coverage of gleanings. Individuals upload their own photos and... (full context)
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...about Scythe Faraday with Rowan at Harvest Conclave. She keeps her investigation a secret from Curie and spends her days training. Citra learns that what makes a bad scythe is laziness,... (full context)
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...Conclave, Goddard and his group arrive in a diamond-studded limousine. Nobody notices Rowan trailing behind. Curie and Citra walk to the Capitol Building through a crowd. Several people try to touch... (full context)
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...anonymously accuses Goddard of being too generous with granting immunity, but Xenocrates waves this away. Curie tries to object but can't. She murmurs that Goddard is untouchable. Citra avoids Rowan at... (full context)
Chapter 28
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Scythe Curie writes that she fought against the movement to glean everyone born in the Age of... (full context)
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Citra is pronounced legally alive after two days. Curie visits that night and tells her that Rowan was disqualified, but they both failed the... (full context)
Chapter 29
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On Citra and Scythe Curie's first day back at Falling Water, Citra confesses that she's been researching Faraday's murder. Curie... (full context)
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The next day, while Curie is at the market, two BladeGuard officers come to Curie's home and ask Citra to... (full context)
Chapter 31
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Scythe Curie writes that in addition to the ten formal laws of the Scythedom, there are several... (full context)
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...say that Citra needs a few more hours before it's safe to be conscious, but Curie sends the nurse away. Curie tells Citra that Scythe Mandela told her about the accusation.... (full context)
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Citra wakes up in a cabin and minutes later, Curie comes in with soup. She explains that it's her grandmother's recipe, and can purportedly heal... (full context)
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Curie admits that she was madly in love with Faraday and several times, she went into... (full context)
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A Chileargentine scythe enters the room, speaks to Curie in Spanic, and leaves. Curie tells Citra that the local scythes are on their way... (full context)
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Scythe San Martín draws his pistol and bangs on the door. Curie opens the door, shocking San Martín. He says he's here for Citra and pushes into... (full context)
Chapter 32
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Scythe Curie writes that she often gleans in her dreams. She has one recurring dream of carrying... (full context)
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...dress and pulls the hood over her head, sometimes only narrowly avoiding scythes pursuing her. Curie told her to go to Amazonia. This is because scythes from around the world used... (full context)
Chapter 33
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...again why Citra is here. Citra explains what happened since his disappearance. He explains that Curie is the only scythe who knows he's alive. A rainstorm moves through and Faraday says... (full context)
Chapter 34
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Scythe Curie writes that the longer people live, the faster time seems to go. She wonders if... (full context)
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Several weeks before Winter Conclave, Citra flies home to Curie. She arrives to an apology note from Scythe Mandela, and Curie explains that Xenocrates will... (full context)
Chapter 38
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The day before Winter Conclave, Scythe Curie drives Citra to Fulcrum City. She'll take her test tonight and get her results tomorrow.... (full context)
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...of the test and Citra opens her slip of paper. It reads, "knife." Citra hears Curie in her head, saying she can do it. She realizes that every scythe has taken... (full context)
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...her what kind of ice cream he wants. As he does, Citra stabs him like Curie stabs her victims. (full context)
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...was compassionate; others think she's sloppy and took unnecessary risks. They dismiss her. Citra meets Curie in the hallway and shouts that she should've prepared Citra better. Curie leads Citra to... (full context)
Chapter 39
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...Rowan luck and invites him for tea if he achieves scythehood. Citra stands with Scythe Curie, listening to the chatter about the tragedy at the Tonist cloister. She's angry to realize... (full context)
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Curie anxiously says that Scythe Mandela told her that Citra performed well last night, but she... (full context)
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...morning's business until Xenocrates begins a debate on banning fire as a method of gleaning. Curie murmurs to Citra that though the fire was terrible, some scythes are glad to see... (full context)
Chapter 40
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Scythe Curie writes that she watches the "bejewling" of new scythes with joy and with sadness, as... (full context)