Study Guide

Samuel Reyes a.k.a. Grandfather in Matched

By Ally Condie

Samuel Reyes a.k.a. Grandfather

While we don't see much of Grandfather in this book (he dies in Chapter 7, after all), Cassia's memories of him, the way he lived his life, and his advice to her all permeate the story at every crossroad she faces.

So what do we know about Gramps? He and Cassia's grandmother were one of the last couples to be Matched later in life, at the practically ancient age of thirty-five—they had their only child, Cassia's father, at age thirty-nine. Grandfather became a widower at sixty-two when his dear wife passed away from one of the last strains of cancer, and he was a sorter—like Cassia and her father—and an Official until his retirement. Fancy. But we all know that any adult who chooses only desserts for their final meal has got to be a pretty youthful and mischievous guy too.

Perhaps the most important thing for us to remember about Grandfather though is that he was a rebel. Without compromising his position, he used every opportunity he could (at least that we know of) to stick it to Society—he kept illegal poetry hidden in his artifact, he arranged for his tissue sample to be destroyed, and he instilled a spirit of rebelliousness, passion, and strength in his granddaughter. Even on his deathbed we see hints of Cassia in him. She says:

I feel something catch in my throat when I see that the color he has chosen for his clothing is light green. We are so much alike.

Grandfather turns the golden box over in his hands as I did with my silver box not long ago […] his life cupped in his palms, as mine was. (7.33, 7.39)

These might seem like superficial similarities at first—same favorite color, similar movements—but they hint at what's to come for Cassia. Like her Grandfather, Cassia was never destined to just sit back and watch others control her life—and like her Grandfather, she's already finding ways to work against the system.

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