Chapter 27 Summary
Distraught, Cassia runs faster on her tracker than she’s supposed to and falls, burning her skin against the spinning belt. She immediately gets back up and keeps running. When she finishes, an Official contacts her to congratulate her on her excellent real-life sort. They ask if she has any last minute changes to make, but she declines. When their communication finishes, Cassia begins to ask her father if he ever doubted his Match to her mother, but stops herself.
She looks for her microcard case in her closet and can’t find it. Her mother comes in and Cassia asks to see the fabric square from her mother’s Matching Banquet dress. They hold them side-by-side and compare them to stained glass. Cassia’s mother lets on that she knows that Cassia has been falling in love with someone who isn’t Xander. She says that if she were to break the glass holding her fabric square, it would be ruined. Cassia changes he subject, asking why her mother’s business trips were so important. Her mother confides that there were people growing illegal crops in a nearby Province and that she was forced to submit a report condemning them. To do otherwise would’ve been to lie and put her family in jeopardy.
Back in her room, Cassia finds her microcard. She thinks of telling Xander the truth, and of all the things that she wants, especially Ky. At hiking the next day, Ky thinks the Society is having difficult with their war out by the borders of the country. They talk for a moment about Cassia’s real life-sort, and then Ky admits that Officials came to him in the spring and told him that he was accidentally Matched with Cassia. She is horrified, thinking the Official set their relationship up, and runs from him.
At school, Cassia asks to speak with Xander in private before class. When they’re alone, she tells him that she thinks she’s falling in love with someone else. Xander is grief-stricken and angry. Cassia remembers that the only other time they fought was when she stopped wanting to play games at the game center, which upset Xander because he preferred playing with her. She tells him about Ky’s face appearing on her microcard, and he points that she could’ve focused on him and not on Ky. He storms out as she cries.
Chapter 28 Summary
At home that night, Cassia grapples with whether to take the green tablet or not, but decides not to. She takes her piece of Matching Banquet dress fabric and quietly breaks the glass.
The next day at hiking, their normal Officer has been replaced with a junior Official. He tells that leisure activities have been shortened and today is their last day of hiking. Ky and Cassia decide that instead of tearing down all their work on the Hill, they’ll climb to the top. Just before they reach it, Cassia stops and tells him she was afraid yesterday that their love happened because of the Officials. Ky says they don’t have to be defined by the Society’s choices, and then that he’s been chosen to receive a new work position, but doesn’t know yet if he’s leaving.
They reach the top of the Hill and Ky gives Cassia his compass, saying she should use it to find him should he leave. They embrace and he gives her a final paper with a piece of his story on it. He says to wait a bit before opening it. Cassia gives him the piece of fabric from her dress. At that point, they finally share a real kiss.
Chapter 27-28 Summary
When Cassia falls off of her tracker in Chapter 27, she says, “No one will ever know what happened until it is too late” (Page 291). While it’s clear she’s referring in part to the wounds she sustained from her fall being hidden beneath her plainclothes, this statement has a foreshadowing double meaning, referring to the damage that she may have done by sorting Ky the way she did at the nutrition disposal center. Even if her decision may allow him a better life, or at least a better vocation, the damage it will inflict on her emotionally will not be revealed until there is nothing that can be done about it. What ultimately transpires in Chapter 29 proves this statement true.
We get to examine the differences between Cassia’s feeling about her Match and her parents’ in greater detail in Chapter 27. Cassia show how isolated she feels from their more normal situation with the way she stops herself from asking her dad if he ever doubted his Matching, knowing full well that he didn’t, that she’s alone in harboring that doubt. The conversation with her mother further reinforces this isolation when her mother talks about not wanting to break the metaphorical glass that holds her life together, the way Cassia may potentially end up doing. Cassia’s unwillingness to acknowledge her mother’s advice shows that she and mother do not agree on the topic. Cassia’s ability to identify with her parents and their relationship has reached an end.
Ky’s admittance that he knew about the Matching malfunction with himself and Cassia prior to the budding of their relationship completely shifts the dynamic of their connection, to Cassia’s horror. Cassia initially believed that their relationship sprouted from natural interest in one another, even though she tries at many points to convince herself that her interest did not stem from seeing him on her microcard. Knowing that the Society planted the first thoughts of Cassia as someone special in Ky’s mind makes Cassia feel as if their relationship was just another piece in the game that the Society controls, which she cannot bear to consider. It’s this revelation in part that convinces her to admit her feelings for Ky to Xander.
Ky and Cassia’s tense, passionate final conversation atop the Hill foreshadows impending danger. Cassia feels from Ky’s words and tone that they may not speak again for some time, and their mutual exchanging of gifts only further promotes this point. The final nail in the coffin is their long-awaited kiss, the kiss that seals their fate in the form of an Infraction. From a literary perspective, Ally Condie is building tension here, which will soon find a release in the form of the book’s climax.