Scythe (Arc of a Scythe, #1) Scythe discussion


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message 1: by james (new)

james The thing that makes Shusterman's books stand out for me among so many "dystopian" novels is the lack of a clear "good and evil", "us and them". In the Skinjackers trilogy, there is no evil force or clear enemy, just the universe and the children playing out their moral choices and influencing each other. The same thing with the Unwind series. Although there are clearer characters and institutions that readers might identify with or against, things change so quickly. I'm interested in how this will turn out, I hope whatever violence is well-toned.


Lunnaku Do you recommend the Unwind series?


message 3: by Iman the Bookwitch (last edited Apr 26, 2017 10:15PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Iman the Bookwitch james wrote: "The thing that makes Shusterman's books stand out for me among so many "dystopian" novels is the lack of a clear "good and evil", "us and them". In the Skinjackers trilogy, there is no evil force o..."

I haven't read any of his other works, but I understand what you're saying about the blurred lines he creates between what is strictly good and what is strictly evil. It's very difficult for an author to be able to do this for any story, let alone one that focuses on the topics that Scythe does.
There is no clear dichotomy and it makes for a fascinating read.
The scenes where Scythe Goddard and his (disciples?) participate in mass killings really stood out to me, mostly because of the range emotions I felt while reading them. From apathy, (... maybe not really apathy but more of a bleak acceptance), to anger, to sadness, and back to acceptance once again, because I know these people have to die, so does it matter how they die?
And is it really so bad for Goddard to enjoy his career?
In our society we emphasize loving what you do, and doing what you love, so why is Goddard's actions... unsavory?
From a humanistic point of view I completely understand wanting to console the (victim?) individual before their demise, but I doubt that makes it any better for the person about to loose their life.
So is Goddard evil or is he simply a man who loves his job? And can there even be "good" scythes when the act of killing itself is considered evil, especially to the people in the world of Scythe who would view death with a different perhaps heightened sense of finality than we do?
Yes, Scythe Curie and Scythe Faraday are the "good" guys, but in what sense? Now that I'm think more about the distinction between the 3, it seems as though Curie and Faraday have a higher respect for the human life than Goddard does. But then again is this a necessary requirement for the job?

I could go on forever, but I won't. I hope someone else decided to share some of their thoughts.


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