Study Guide

The Forest of Hands and Teeth Chapter 22

By Carrie Ryan

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Chapter 22

  • This village ain't a living one, and it's grown over and empty.
  • Still, there are solid buildings and a ghost-town market street, so everyone splits up to explore the place, leaving Travis and Mary all by their lonesome together.
  • Mary looks up and sees that there's a whole village in the trees, just like on the ground.
  • She closes her eyes… and then Jed screams, "Run!" and Travis grabs her arm (22.10).
  • She tries to get him to go to the ladders, but he wants to run back to the path because of his bum leg.
  • Mary refuses to go back there, though—this village is her only hope of finding out more about the ocean and escape. Plus there's no way they'll reach the path before the zombies do.
  • Argos runs from building to building, sniffing out the walking dead; they pour from everywhere.
  • One little zombie boy stumbles after Mary, and foolishly she holds out her hand to him.
  • Lucky for her, Travis lands a flying kick to the kid's head and drags Mary away.
  • Argos herds them to a big ol' house, and they slam the door in the zombies' faces.
  • Mary runs from window to window, closing shutters as Argos sniffs out each room until he finds one that makes him growl his little head off.
  • Mary slowly opens the door and sees a little white crib with a thumping noise inside. Talk about creep factor.
  • It's a zombie baby—holy nastiness—and Mary feels like she should care about the thing, but she just doesn't. Good move, Mary.
  • However, she still takes her sweet time thinking about the situation. She's tired of being tired and just wants to lie down and take a nice, long nap. She wonders if her mom let herself be bitten on purpose in order to escape her lousy life.
  • This thought makes Mary mad at her mom, herself, and the world.
  • She lifts the baby out of the crib and pretends for a minute that it's a real-live-non-zombie baby. It makes her cry as she wraps it in a blanket on the floor and thinks about her dreams of Travis-Mary babies running all over the place.
  • Travis comes in behind her, telling her everyone else is safe on the platforms. He sees what Mary is doing—rocking a zombie baby—and he's shocked.
  • He almost takes the baby from Mary, but she heads to the window, opens it, and tosses the baby two-stories down to the mob of zombies below.
  • Travster hugs her from behind and asks her to tell him a story about the ocean.
  • They sit on a small bed in the room, and he nibbles her thumb.
  • It makes Mary happy, but she almost cries when she says the ocean might be a lie.
  • He pulls her down next to him on the bed and they spoon. Mary forgets everything else and just relishes (and ketchups, and mustards… sorry, bad joke) the moment.

The Forest of Hands and Teeth Chapter 22 Study Group

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