What are 10 major events in Messenger by Lois Lowry?
Messenger is a sort of sequel to The Giver. It takes place after the events in The Giver and the second installment in the series, Gathering Blue. It takes place in a community called Village, which is surrounded by woods. It takes place about eight years after The Giver, because Gabe is eight. Village is led by Jonas, who is now called Leader.
1. The story opens with Matty, “no longer a boy, but not yet a man” who lives with an old man called Seer. He serves as companion and housekeeper because Seer is blind, though his “special vision” is valued in Village (p. 3). Matty thinks cooking is a “bother” but the old man enjoys it. Matty has not always lived in Village. He came from a difficult home life.
2. The Seer jokes about what Matty would trade for a kiss from a girl, but Matty does not want to talk about it because while trading “used to be a light-hearted thing … it’s not to be laughed at anymore” (p. 2). We get the idea that something bad happens at the Trade Mart.
[Matty’s] friend Ramon went to the last Trade Mart, with his parents. But he won’t talk about it. (p. 2)
This conversation foreshadows the trouble with trading.
3. Matty is a Messenger, one of the few people who goes into the forest. Most people in the Village avoid the forest because it is “dangerous for them” because it can move to trap people who shouldn’t be there, causing “terrible deaths” (p. 9).
4. Matty picks up a frog in the forest. The frog is no ordinary frog. It is "marked," meaning it needs healing.
[He] knew that things were all shifting for him now. His future had taken a new and secret turn. (p. 11)
Later, one of the frog’s legs is “oddly stiff” (p. 19).
When Matty returns to Village he hears “keening, the sound of loss” (p. 11). A cheerful man named Gatherer has been taken by the forest. Matty thinks that Gatherer has overlooked a Warning (p. 15). Matty knows he will never be warned because he is special to the forest. Leader walks among the people, comforting them.
5. Matty and Seer discuss the Gaming Machine, which lights up and spits out candy when someone wins. Seer tells Matty that they don’t know what was traded for the Gaming Machine and it “probably came at a high cost” (p. 23). Matty wants to go to the next Trade Mart, but Seer says that he’s too young. We find out later that all trades come at high costs.
6. Matty gets summoned to Leader’s house, which has a circular staircase and plenty of books. Leader tells Matty that in his childhood he was not allowed to read them. The books showed up one day, and Leader thinks the books were a sign of forgiveness from his community.
Leader could see beyond the shadows but was not certain what he saw. (p. 19)
7. When Village decides to close its borders by building a wall, Seer asks Matty to go to a neighboring community to find his daughter Kira (from Gathering Blue) before the wall goes up in ten days.
Forest was shifting, moving, thickening, and preparing to destroy them. (p. 134)
8. Leader has used his capacity to See Beyond to sense danger. He follows them into the forest to try to save them, but gets captured himself. Kira saves him.
9. Matty uses his gift of healing to save them.
10. Matty has always believed that when he is old enough to get his true name it would be Messenger. However Leader/Jonas tells him that his “true name is Healer” (p. 169).
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