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Last Updated on June 19, 2019, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 458

The Knife of Never Letting Go is a dystopian/sci-fi novel by Patrick Ness that was published in 2008. To explore the themes of the story, we need to examine the characters and plot.

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Todd Hewitt lives in a world full of noise. Every moment of every day, his own thoughts and feelings are projected out to the world in colors, pictures, and sounds which he refers to as "noise". Todd has never known a quiet moment. He's never been able to escape his thoughts and feelings, and it is nearly impossible for him to bury his thoughts in order to keep them unheard by the men in his colony. An inability to escape one's self—one's thoughts, feelings, and memories—for even a second is a theme of the story.

When the story begins, Todd is approaching his thirteenth birthday. He struggles with his identity and what it really means to be a man. When he meets Viola, he's sent on a journey that shows him the worst things and the best things a man can do. Coming of age is a theme of the story as well.

(The entire section contains 458 words.)

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  • Summary
  • Themes
  • Characters
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