Chapter 31 Summary
Xander is waiting for Cassia on the steps of her house when she gets home, having heard about her sudden, impending Relocation. He confides in her that he remembers the events of that morning, and that the red tablets don’t work on him or Ky. He discovered this when they were younger. He was jealous of how Cassia looked at Ky and threatened to expose that Ky had a forbidden artifact, which he saw him using privately once. In exchange for his silence, Xander dared Ky to steal two red tablets. As revenge, Ky took them from Xander’s parents, which ultimately resulted in a citation from Officials. Xander was furious, but Ky told him they could forget the whole thing happened by taking the pills. Ky already knew that the tablets wouldn’t work on him, but when they both took them, they discovered that they don’t work on Xander either. He says that they apparently don’t work on Cassia either, but she doesn’t clarify she didn’t actually take one.
Xander gives her a gift, an envelope filled with blue tablets that he lifted from his work at the medical center. Cassia realizes that he know she’ll look for Ky. Cassia asks if he’ll show her how to use Ky’s artifact. Hurt that this will ultimately just prepare Cassia for a life with Ky and not himself, Xander begrudgingly agrees. He asks if she would ever have hypothetically chosen to be Matched with him, and she says of course. They joke that they could still end up together. Cassia asks how many times they’ve all taken the red pill. Xander says once that he knows of, although he doesn’t know if Cassia took one. He tells her that he put some new rose blooms in the envelope he gave her, along with a copy of one of the Hundred paintings, and then asks for a final kiss, but Cassia has to decline. They embrace instead and say goodbye.
On the air train to their new home, Cassia sees that their neighborhood, now empty of maple trees, is having it’s name changed from Mapletree Borough to Garden Borough, and newroses have been added to everyone’s flowerbeds. Cassia remembers that their neighborhood was once called Stony Borough and had flat paths of stone and realizes that this transformation has happened before.
Cassia talks with her father, and he confesses to knowing that there are gaps in his memory, that the war in the Outer Provinces is not going well for the Society. He also believes she’s in love with Ky Markham and wants to find him. Her mother seems to know too. They say that they’ll help her choose the life she wants.
Chapter 32 Summary
Cassia is sent on a three-month work detail to a Province near the Sisyphus River, per the request of her parents, in an attempt to cure her “signs of rebellion” (Page 363). She works long hours planting seeds in soil, holding onto the memory of Ky and what he wrote and drew on his last paper to her. The illustration was a single Ky, reaching for her, saying that his life with her is his real life and that he loves her. Cassia continues practicing writing whenever she can, knowing that she will Ky again someday and will have words to share with him.
Chapter 31-32 Analysis
Ever the loving and helpful best friend, Xander demonstrates a genuine love for Cassia despite her feelings for Ky with his gift to her. At this point, it is clear that Cassia plans to look for Ky, a plot line that paves the way in part for Matched’s sequel. Cassia and Xander are able to demonstrate a glimpse of their old platonic relationship with the way they joke about one day ending up together, an ironic moment given the way they literally used to joke about the same thing prior to being Matched.
Cassia’s parents are much less ignorant to the events of the book than we are led to believe, particularly her father, who even admits to knowing what the red tablets are for. Their discussion about Cassia’s desire to find Ky, whom they know she’s in love with, and their decision to send her on a work detail that can help her on her way are testament to their dedication to Cassia first and the Society second, especially after the way the Society chooses to Relocate them against their will.
Chapter 32 fully sets the stage for Crossed, Ally Condie’s sequel to Matched. Cassia is near enough to the Sisyphus River on her work detail to make an attempt at finding Ky. She still practices her writing, demonstrating her insistence on continuing what she began before he was taken. Ky’s final illustration, depicting himself as belonging with Cassia, signifies closure to the story of his past that he told to her through his napkins, while also fueling her desire to find him even more. Cassia specifically states that she knows she will see Ky again, the story’s final moment of foreshadowing.