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Written by Amelia Putnam
"Take pride in your pain. You are stronger than those who have none."
Katrina was Kira's mother who at the time of the novel, had recently passed away. Kira was reflecting on her mother's words as she tried to remain strong and push through the difficult time she was facing. Although in the quote Katrina was referring to Kira's physical burden, Kira used her mother's words to give her emotional and mental strength despite her heartache at losing Katrina. Not only did she lose her mother, but she was also rejected by her village for being a cripple.
"It is clear that exceptions can be made, so we may set aside the assertion that it is the way. It need not always be the way."
Jamison was appointed as Kira's defender at her trial in front of the village. Kira was protected by her mother, Katrina, her whole life, but with Katrina's passing the village turned on her for being a cripple, and without Jamison, Katrina surely would've been put to death. Although cultural practices can be very influential, they aren't always humane, as displayed in this situation. Jamison reminded the people of the village that although the "way" previously had been to put cripples to death, the way could be changed and exceptions could be made. By doing this, Jamison saved Kira's life.
“‘Thomas,’ she suggested, ‘you and I? We’re the ones who will fill in the blank places. Maybe we can make it different.”
Thomas and Kira had special gifts. Kira had the ability to weave and stitch like no other, and Thomas had equal skill with carving. They were tasked with preserving an important robe and staff that displayed their villages history. There were areas on both the staff and robe that were blank; they were reserved for the events that had not transpired yet. In this quote, Kira was expressing her conviction to Thomas that they needed to be the ones to shape the future for the better. Together, they could make a difference in the corrupted society they lived in.
“‘You need the woad,’ she said. ‘Gather fresh leaves from first year’s growth of woad. And soft rainwater; that makes the blue...I have nought. Others do, but they be far away.'"
Throughout the course of the story, the color blue was used as a metaphor and symbol for many things that the village Kira lived in lacked. The village had every appearance of being a functional society, but when the truth came to the surface, in reality there was corruption and evil laced into the very history of the village. Even during their celebration of their history, a little four year girl named Jo was chained up and forced to sing. Kira was almost put to death, simply for being born a cripple. Kira's father was put blind by his comrades, the "beasts," because of his political position. Some of the things the color blue was a symbol of were love, friendship, trust, and loyalty. Some people, like Kira, would seek after this color and these qualities, but it simply did not exist in the land they lived in. As Annabella said, "I have nought.. Others do, but they be far away." These aspects of a functional society indeed were very far away, and it was up to people like Kira, Thomas, and Matt to bring blue, both literally and figuratively, back to their village.
"The guardians with their stern faces had no creative power. But they had strength and cunning, and they had found a way to steal and harness other people's powers for their own needs. They were forcing the children to describe the future they wanted, not the one that could be."
This is an example of how sometimes leaders of a community can be evil and corrupt. It is important for those who are being governed to recognize when they are being used and manipulated for the good of only a few. Rather than helping the upcoming generation to shape their futures, the leaders in Kira's village used the children's skills to benefit themselves, rather than letting them thrive on their own.
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This had been her mother, the warm and vital woman whose name had been Katrina. Then after the brief and unexpected sickness, it had become the body of Katrina, still containing the lingering spirit. After four sunsets and sunrises,...