Study Guide

The Forest of Hands and Teeth Chapter 33

By Carrie Ryan

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Chapter 33

  • The fire follows them down the path, and everyone deals with their messed up lives in their own special way: Cass becomes Jacob's mother bear; Harry takes care of Cass; Mary just wanders alone, stumbling around like a drunk person. She can't believe the path is all she's got left.
  • Jed takes her hand when she practically falls into the fences. He knows how she feels—losing the one you love and all.
  • Nobody talks about the Travster, or the fire, or the zombies. The ash burns their eyes, but they all refuse to stop.
  • Sometimes Mary writes Travis's name in the ash coating her arms. His memory shoves her forward.
  • One night, Mary's nightmares wake her up, and she heads off to find some peace and quiet. Instead, she finds Jacob crying by himself.
  • He's still feeling guilty for starting the fire, so Mary pulls him into her lap and starts to tell him about the ocean (we're not sure how this helps drown out guilt for starting a massive forest fire, but it seems to help). She shows him the picture of New York City.
  • She gives him the pic and tells him there's more to life than the path.
  • Then it's back to bed and sweet dreams for Mary.
  • Everything is still doom and gloom, and then it starts to rain.
  • Mary pulls one of these and throws her arms out in the rain.
  • Then she falls to the ground, rolls around in the mud, and screams at the rain and the Unconsecrated. She gets up and shakes her fists at the zombies at the fences, and when they leave, she shakes the fence like a madwoman.
  • Harry comes over to give her a hug and tells her he misses his little bro, too.
  • Jed comes skidding down the path, yelling something.
  • Harry and Mary follow him, only to find… the end of the path. Bummer.
  • Harry says they'll have to head back and find another route, but Mary knows there is something different about this path. When she looks closely, she sees that the end of the fence isn't a fence at all—it's a gate. A gate with the numeral I on it. She knows this is a big deal.
  • Mary tells the boys that they're supposed to go through the gate into the Forest, that doing so will lead them to the ocean.
  • The guys think she's nuts.
  • Harry takes her hand for a sec, and she remembers when he first asked her to marry him, way back when. She finally realizes all the pain she's caused him.
  • She says she's sorry, and that he would have been a good hubby.
  • He says he "always cared for you, Mary" (33.29).
  • Mary wonders for a minute about what might have been if she'd finished on time that day, if she'd saved her mom, avoided the Sisters, never met Gabby, avoided falling for Travis, married Harry… she thinks she would have been okay. But she's not so sure she'd have felt fulfilled.
  • Harry snaps her back to the present and reminds her that she never wanted him anyway.
  • Mary says she's going through the gate. She tells Harry to take care of Cass and Jacob.
  • Harry is spitting mad and throws his weapon to the ground as he stomps back on the path—in his mind, Mary is leaving everyone out to dry.
  • Jed tries to convince her that there are other villages, that they should stick to the path, but she's having none of it. It's her way or no way, and she just knows this is the way to the ocean. Jed thinks she's insane. He says she's already led them to one death trap—this will just be death trap number two.
  • She tells him the first death trap was their only option, but then she drops the real bomb and asks, "Why do you even care if I go through that gate? […] You turned me away after our mother died!" (33.100). Easy there, Marymeister.
  • Jed tells her it's because she's all he's got left.

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