The Knife of Never Letting Go 1 by Patrick Ness

Group Members:
Madison R
McKenzie M
Emily M
Lauren W
Abby S
Mr B.*

Discussion Time:
Thursday January 7th 5W 12:55-2:25

Introduction to Discussion: (5 minutes)

Each participant will introduce themselves briefly.

Discussion Questions:

•Clarifying Questions:

• Language/Writing Style Questions:
- What is the significance in the change of fonts when the author tries to describe the Noise?
- Did you like how Manchee's words and Noise are only portrayed in several words?
•••••••••• Is this realistic?
•••••••••• Based upon his loyal relationship with Todd, should he be more eloquent in his speaking?
•••••••••• Should he be more eloquent in his speaking based upon the fact that he fully understands Todd's thinking and instructions?

• Character Questions:
- How does Todd's relationship with Manchee grow as the book continues?
- Does Todd love Vi? In which ways do they depend on each other?
- If Todd does love Viola, what do you think his idea of love is? Does he love her like a sister? A future wife?

• Plot and Setting Questions:
- How does the setting contribute to the plot of the book? Are there certain aspects of the setting that enhance the plot?
- Are there any specific settlements that contribute more to the development of the plot? What does Haven represent in the novel?

• Significant Passages:
- On page 11 Todd, speaking about the Noise in the town, says "...the town knows all about already and wants to know more and wantes to beat you with what it knows till how can you have any of yerself left at all." Do you think this shows a strong emotion he has for the town, whether it's spiteful, angry, frustrated, etc?
- …The most difficult obstacle of all is a woman’s silence –it makes a man feel that his words are less than the squeaking of mice in the sleeping dark.
• Themes and Motifs:
- What is the significance of the month's time it will take Todd to become a man?
•••••••••• Why is this so important to him?
- Is the significance of the river and Todd and Vi's journey similar to the rivers significance in The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn?
- What part does nature play in the novel?

• Symbolism Questions:
- Obviously the knife represents a lot for Todd, what ways do you think Todd depends on the knife, and in what ways might the knife be more harm than protection?
- The name "Todd" means a clever or wily person. Do you think this represents Todd well?
- Is it symbolic that Aaron's face gets disfigured throughout the journey? Is there a symbolism in the way he dies?
- What is the symbolism behind the 13 month year?
- Is it significant that Todd finds peace and silence in the swamp amongst nature?
•••••••••• Is this a symbol of transcendentalism and escaping the pressures of society?
•••••••••• How can this interpretation of nature and beauty tie in to the escape of chaos in our own lives?
- Why do you think the women were the ones that were not affected by the noise? Is the only reason that the outcome of Prentisstown occurred the way it did because people are afraid of the unknown?

• Narration Questions:
- What do you think the significance of the noise being in a different font was?

• Essential Question:

• Secondary Sources:
- Frank Boyce reviewed The Knife of Never Letting Go and made an interesting point: "Is there anything more depressing than the sight of a "young adult" bookshelf in the corner of the shop. It's the literary equivalent of the "kids' menu" - something that says "please don't bother the grown-ups". If To Kill a Mockingbird were published today, that's where it would be placed, among the chicken nuggets." Do you think that the "genre" of the story affects whether or not people read it?
Boyce's Review
- Another interesting review by a huge Ness fan:
Review 2

• Conclude discussion:
what was your reaction upon finishing the book?
- are you satisfied with the cliff hanger at the ending of the book?
- are there any changes to the plot, the language, etc. you would have changed had you been the author?