In the book “The Knife of Never Letting Go” by Patrick J. Ness, Todd Hewitt, the main
character, is 12 years old, and has one more month until he becomes a man at 13. He lives in a
town called Prentisstown, in a world where everyone can hear each others’ thoughts, and there
is no way to block them out. However, everything is not as it seems, and when deeply buried
secrets become uncovered in his small town, he is forced to run from everything he knows and
embarks on a journey of self-discovery in the process of searching for answers to all of his
questions. There are many sacrifices made in this book, and though some sacrifices seem to be
made without reason, most are influenced by strong feelings such as belief in an idea, hunger
for revenge, and affection.
Many characters in “The Knife of Never Letting Go” are passionate about an idea, like
Aaron, the preacher of Prentisstown. His belief in the will of God is unshakeable, and he
believes that God’s perfect army is only made up of men who killed in order to become
men.Throughout the book, he tries to manipulate Todd, making him very angry in order to make
Todd snap and kill Aaron, so that Todd will join God’s army. It is clear that despite Aaron’s flaws,
he loves his religion, and so in order to add another to God’s perfect army, puts himself in front
of Todd as a sacrifice for the greater good. Even though Viola (Todd’s companion), not Todd,
killed Aaron, he was still sacrificing himself because of his belief in his religion.
Near the end of the story, Aaron lashes out at Viola, hitting her so hard that she
crumples to the ground unconscious, but Todd believes that she is dead, and so lunges at
Aaron with a knife in his hand, with the sole intent of killing Aaron. In that instant, his hunger for
revenge is driving him to sacrifice his well-being, both physical and mental, in order to kill Aaron
in order to get revenge for what he believes to be Viola’s death. Throughout the book, he
showed a reluctance to kill, and after he killed a Spackle (an alien), his thoughts were haunted
by it for days. However, he was willing to go through the same process in order to get revenge
for Viola, thus sacrificing his mental well-being for her. He also sacrificed his physical well-being
for her because in the process of attacking Aaron, he was hurt physically as well.
In regard to the sacrifices made because...