Tally's Scarred Hand and Other Hands
If you went through and
underlined every time Tally referred to her scarred hands, you'd
probably get a blister because it happens so frequently. But you'd also
find that her scarred hand comes up all the time when friendship is on
- When Tally breaks in to New Pretty Town in order to see her BFF Peris: "she waited, rubbing the scar on her right palm.
Finally, Tally sighed and whispered, 'Best friends forever,' and took a
step forward into the light" (1.36). Saying "best friends forever" and
rubbing her scar push Tally to find her friend.
- And she rubs her scar whenever she makes promises to any of her friends: "'Okay. I
swear.' Tally held up her hand with the scar she and Peris had made"
(8.77). So there, she's talking to Shay and she still rubs the
scar that she made with Peris. That's a clue that the scar no longer
means "I'm friends with Peris" but something more general, like "I'm
friends with you."
- Then, when Peris reminds her that she made him a promise, too, guess what she does? "She touched the scar on her
palm, still there, even though Peris's had been rubbed away" (15.61).
we're guess you can tell why we're saying that her scarred hand is a
symbol (at least for Tally) of friendship and promises to friends.
is also why it's interesting that hands are what sets these friends
apart. For instance, David's hands prove that he's a different sort of
kid: his hands are "as rough as the wood grain of the table in the
dining hall, the skin along his thumb as hard and dry as leather
cracking with age" (26.50). Of course, because he has rough (and bigger)
hands, he doesn't need his old gloves to work, which is why he gives
his old gloves to Tally… which then makes Shay very angry. So hands, the
symbol of friendship, eventually end up tearing friends apart. Hello, irony.