The Knife of Never Letting Go 2 by Patrick Ness

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Group Members:
Kyler M
Benji J - Facilitator
Emily C
Carlie W
Natalie Salmon
Olivia H
Courtney B
Natalie Sanford

Suzanne H.*

Discussion Time:
Friday January 8th 4B 11:09-12:39


Agenda:
Discussion Facilitator and Participant's Names:

Clarifying Questions:
-What does Todd's knife symbolize? What is its significance?
-Does Todd want to fit the definition of a Prentisstown "man"?
-Why is Todd so different from all other Prentisstown men? Was it because of the way he was raised?
- 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?



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Characters:
-Todd: Stuck between immaturity and manhood. Struggling to adjust to the truths of real life from the lies of Prentisstown.
-Viola: Often quiet, but very deep and thoughtful when she speaks
-Manchee: The typical "man's best friend" dog. Always by Todd's side no matter what. Sacrifices his own life to save Viola and Todd. Very intelligent, always manages to pick up on the most important issues
-Aaron: Self-described "saint"; insane; Prentisstown preacher; Used by Prentisstown as a "strong man"
-Ben: Genuinely kind and caring; brave
-Cillian: Hard exterior with a tough way of showing he cares; brave
-Prentiss Jr.: Easily influenced; arrogant
-Mayor Prentiss: Calm and authoritative; craves power
-Hidly-Married to Tam she doesn't have Noise.
-Tam-Married to Hidly he has Noise, both Hidly and Tam help Todd and Viola

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?

Plot:
- 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?

Narration: By Todd; very descriptive, goes into great detail and imagery
- What do you think the significance of the noise being in a different font was?

Setting: Colonized planet, in some ways like earth. Inhabited initially by Spackle, but now mostly by subsistence farmers.

Themes/Motifs: What is missing in the story, and how is whats missing thematically important?
- 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?

Style of Writing:
-Words, and not just dialogue, are written how they would sound
- 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?

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 wants to beat you with what it knows till how can you have any of yerself left at all." What does this show about Todd's opinion of the noise? Do you think that if his noise were ever to go away that he would feel its absence in a bad way, or would it be a relief?

Other Resources:

This is a short reviewwritten by Stephen P. King that you might enjoy!

Here is another review, found on EBSCOhost

- 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

- This in-depth review of The Knife of Never Letting Go is very opinionated, but is also easy to read and covers many different aspects of the book. In addition, it responds to Frank Boyce's review at the beginning. (Note: YA = young adult)

- Another interesting review by a huge Ness fan:
Review 2


Food Volunteers:

Kyler M -
Benji J - Crackers
Emily C - cookies
Carlie W - Popcorn
Natalie Salmon - pretzels
Olivia H - Juice/chips
Courtney B - Cookies
Natalie Sanford - Candy


• 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?