Summary of Chapter 41
Hunter and Ky retrieve a boat from the cave big enough to carry two of them quickly down the stream to the Rising. Eli takes Ky aside and gives him both a pack full of food and something more surprising—a tissue sample tube that he stole from the Cavern. Ky thinks he should break it, but pockets it instead.
Hunter shows Ky how to rig the explosives based on a plan designed by Hunter’s former leader, Anna. Hunter returns to the others while Ky lights the fuse. It ignites, creating a great explosion that triggers a landslide. Rock, mud, and trees thunder down through the settlement, destroying several houses before hitting the river, damming part of it, and stopping. Ky thinks to himself that he wants to use the boat to help Cassia reach the Rising.
Summary of Chapter 42
The group painstakingly heads for the plains, slipping and falling as they carry the boat. They finally find a small cave to rest in. When inside, Hunter proposes that they decide who is going where. Indie immediately declares that she’s going to the Rising. Eli shakes his head uncertainly. Hunter intends to find the farmers, though he’s still helping the group for the mutual benefit of carrying things, and because he feels guilty having put them in danger back in the Cavern.
Cassia asks Ky what he hates about the Rising. Ky says they never came to help when his village was killed, and he doesn’t trust them. Hunter also doesn’t know if he trusts them. The last time they visited the farmers, they told them they’d infiltrated every part of the Society, and wanted the farmers to join. Anna had been stubborn and refused. Hunter explains that the Rising gave them the pamphlets detailing the rebellion as well as the map the group is currently using. The code on it is the farmers’, which the rebellion learned from a few farmers who had left to join them. He admits that he himself once left to find it, but returned because he loved Anna’s daughter, Catherine, who would become Sarah’s mother and was next in line to lead and therefore had to stay. She later died during childbirth.
Indie asks how the farmers escaped when the Society was being formed. He tells her that they let them go. When people were choosing to be part of the Society, the farmers chose not to be and left. The villagers of the Outer Provinces used to visit, trade, and even join the farmers’ settlements until they were all killed. When the farmers left, they took what they could and left the rest for Hunter to seal off.
Cassia asks what the blue markings on Hunter’s arms mean. He says their webs that represent connection. He demonstrates by touching his fingertips to Cassia’s and drawing blue lines from his fingers across to hers and up her arm. She reveals that she brought the page with the poem from which Sarah’s epitaph was taken. Hunter reads it aloud to the room. He describes having to let Sarah go little by little as she died. He wanted to break the tubes and die in the Cavern, but couldn’t do it.
Later, everyone sleeps except Ky and Cassia. The latter thinks of what her epitaph might say if she died that night. She recalls a night in Matched when she and her friends saw a showing and Ky cried at the violence and death on the screen while she and her friends laughed at how impossible it seemed. She realizes that though she loves him, she may never understand him. She wonders who put Ky in the Matching Pool, thinking maybe it was Ky himself, and thinks that perhaps knowing someone’s whole story is too much to bear, or at least that Ky might fear that.
Summary of Chapter 43
Also awake in the cave, Ky contemplates running away, and thinks of how he, Cassia, and Eli have all cried that night. He flashes back to the kisses his parents shared, and thinks that it was kind of his father to send the Markhams a book page that they ultimately used for trading. Thinking to himself, “I cannot let me parents go unmarked any longer” (324), Ky takes the paints that Eli gathered and draws an elaborate mural on the wall in the dark, illustrating his parents, a sunset, his father teaching a boy to write, Vick’s stream, and Cassia. He wonders how much he has to tell Cassia, about his jealousy over their differences when they were younger, how he abandoned the recruits in the Outer Provinces to come to the Carving, and, most importantly, what he’s lied to himself about all along: that when he saw his parents corpses after the Society firing, all he did was run.
Summary of Chapter 44
Cassia is the first to wake the next morning, wondering about Ky, Hunter, and Eli’s “invisible injuries” (326). She observes the sunlight outside and for a moment feels like she can fly. Upon turning around, she is taken aback by Ky’s painting. She observes the painted stars, his parents, and her own image wearing a red dress.
Summary of Chapter 45
The group continues on out of the Carving. Ky is exhausted, but they press on until Hunter drops the boat and says that they’ve come far enough and must part ways before the Society finds them. Cassia admits to throwing Indie’s miniport in the river before they began moving, which Hunter thinks was best. They move the boat down to the bank. Hunter says that two can ride in the boat and any others wishing to head to the Rising will need to do so slowly on foot. Ky pauses to feel the raindrops on his skin, feel them cleansing and helping him let go of everything that’s been paining him: the loss of his parents, his jealousy of Xander, guilt over Vick. When he does this, he apologizes to Cassia for lying, and she to him for sorting him. As Ky traded the boat for Cassia, it’s her choice who will pilot it to the Rising.
Summary of Chapter 46
Cassia doesn’t want to sort people again, but their time is short and Indie and Ky press her. Thinking that it feels right, Cassia chooses Eli.
Summary of Chapter 47
Eli is bewildered at Cassia’s choice and, as the others discuss having Indie lead him down the stream in the boat, declares that he wants to go with Hunter across the plain. He gives the other three emotional hugs goodbye and then he and Hunter immediately head off. With a new choice to face, Ky decides to head to the Rising on foot while Cassia and Indie take the boat.
Summary of Chapter 48
The rain turns to snow as Cassia thinks that they all are not yet who they are meant to be. She expresses to Ky the difficulty of crossing over to who she needs to become. Ky leans in to kiss her, but not with his dirty, bloodied hands. She puts her palms against them and says that “it will all come clean” (337).
Summary of Chapter 49
Cassia and Ky embrace, but then she pulls away and reveals that she has her grandfather’s tissue sample tube. Ky tells her that Eli gave him Vick’s. Cassia plans to hide her grandfather’s tube and the book she took from the cave until they learn more about the tubes and the Rising. She asks again to hear more of Ky’s story. He speaks in fragments, but confirms that he wished he hadn’t done nothing when his parents died, revealing that rather than carrying their bodies, as he told Cassia he’d done, he simply ran away. Cassia embraces him and tells him she loves him, comforting him greatly.
Analysis of Chapters 41-49
Blue has come to represent and describe many things over the course of Crossed: it was the first image the reader obtained when Ky was standing in the river at the book’s opening. It’s been the color of Ky’s eyes, of the tubes in the Cavern, of the tablets that Xander gave Cassia that made her sick, and finally, of the lines on the farmers’ bodies, including the corpses Indie and Cassia found. That Hunter reveals that they represent connection is fitting for the book, as it serves as the second in a trilogy and therefore connects the story’s exposition and initial unfolding in the first book to its broader climax and conclusion in the third. The way Hunter draws the lines from his fingers to Cassia’s additionally can be thought of as representing the way they helped one another and how Cassia is now more a member of the Carving, whether as a farmer or rebel, than of the Society, having changed so much over the course of the novel.
Chapters 43 and 45 provide something of a transformation for Ky. He has spent his time in Matched and Crossed harboring secrets, hurt, and guilt that he doesn’t share with the other characters, but the specific source of his distress is never made clear until he admits that he feels ashamed for having run from his parents' corpses. This point is emphasized further when considering that he once lied to Cassia that he tried to carry their bodies. His ability to finally admit this act to himself is a moment of great strength for him. In Chapter 45, when the rain falls upon and cleanses him, akin to a baptism, he is finally able to let go of all the negativity bottled inside of him: toward himself for his mistakes, toward Xander for his significance in Cassia’s life, etc. This is a truly unique and powerful moment for him, and a strong step forward in the development of his character.
The fact that Ky paints Cassia’s dress red in his mural on the cave wall in Chapter 44 provides a moment of foreshadowing. Ally Condie has made it amply clear in the Matched series that her books progress from focusing on themes of green in the first to blue in the second to red in the final book. This was demonstrated with Cassia’s green dress at her Matching Banquet. The fact that Ky depicts her now in a red one symbolizes how far she has come and the journey she faces in Reached as a girl reborn into a rebellion rather than one complacent in a Society in which she is a pawn.
Cassia’s statement that “it will all come clean” (337) in Chapter 48 can be interpreted in several ways. The dirt and blood on Ky’s hands may represent the hurt that he has endured for so long and the way this has disabled him from fully opening up to Cassia. That Cassia notes it will wash away could represent that she understands he will come to tell her everything in time. The statement could also be a larger foreshadowing of the events to come in Crossed’s final chapters and the trilogy’s final book, where the country may be washed clean of the Society, a metaphor that compares the totalitarian government to filth in need of removal.