Compare and contrast in what ways does Ed change: 

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beateach eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In I Am the Messenger, by Marcus Zusak, Ed Kennedy changes from a nineteen-year-old taxi driver, the black sheep of his family, to a young man who helps people face their fears, reclaim their lives, and improve their life situations.

Ed is a taxi-driver who has a small group of loyal friends with whom he plays cards and shares cheap meals. He lives on his own because he does not see eye to eye with his mother due to his lack of ambition, which reminds her of her recently deceased husband. He never speaks up for himself; it simply does not seem worth his effort.

Ed receives a series of messages written on playing cards that guide him as he reaches out to 12 people who need his help or need to face difficult situations in their own lives. He changes from the quiet unassuming young man delivering messages, to a man who is “the message.” He intuitively knows how to help the people after observing the situations they are facing. There are times when the messages lead him to engage in a simple act of kindness such as buying an overworked, single mother an ice cream cone or reading to an elder woman who suffers with dementia. Some of the messages are harder to deliver especially when Ed takes a beating from a group of young men, or he sees and intervenes in domestic abuse. At the beginning of the story, Ed would not have put himself into these situations, by the end of the story he assists his closest friends as they face their deepest secrets and emotions.

When you compare Ed Kennedy from the beginning of the story to the end, you see him transform his life, and the lives of 12 other people. From his beginnings as a person who is beaten down by his situation to being an agent of change, Ed Kennedy comes into his own and knows exactly what he needs to do in his life.