Headscratchers / Chaos Walking

  • So. Why is it that the only thing on the entire planet (that we know of) that doesn't have noise is the human female? Explain using scientific evidence.
    • The reader doesn't know, and neither does anyone in the series. We only know what they do, and with everything else that happens, no one seems to care.
    • The author seems to imply that it's because women are somehow above the noise. The Mayor mentions that "women are not animals," implying perhaps that the Spackle, the animals, and the men all have Noise because they are more prone to have animalistic natures.
      • Ugh, not that old chestnut. You'd think Coyle would put away any notions of that, what with her hobby of blowing people up and everything.
    • I think it was implied one or two times in the series that women sort of do have noise. Women’s silence is described as sort of active and alive in the same way noise is, which makes it different from the men who take the cure and those who control their Noise. In Monsters of Men, Ben talks to Viola about finding a way to let women’s Noise out in a way that makes it seem more like he thinks they do have Noise which can be made to be released. And also there is this bit where Todd feels all the voices of New World, and he realises that even although she doesn’t have any Noise he can feel Viola’s presence. I think that maybe the the silence is more just a sort of shield.
    • Just had some serious Fridge Brilliance; if we take the whole thing about the women actually having Noise, but it's bottled up, maybe Patrick Ness is actually making a statement about our gender norms: men are taught to speak their mind, thus their Noise has free reign, but women are taught to keep quiet, keep their opinions and emotions to themselves, and so their noise is silent. It would definitely be in keeping with the themes of the series.
      • Except you can also see it as a switcheroo of the notion that men should keep their emotions bottled up (remember that Boys Don't Cry), while women are generally free to express the normal human range of emotions— in public, even!— without being shamed for it. Only here, men are suddenly forced to display all of their emotions, whether they like it or not (which has got to be traumatic as hell, if not borderline Mind Rapey), while the women, once considered "normal" for being silent, would eventually come to be seen as emotionless (or "mute" as the Spackle show) once Noise started to become accepted as The Way It Is.
    • Or it could just be that whatever it is that causes the Noise only affects the Y chromosome in humans.
  • Has The Mayor been able to hear everything from the start (e.g. genetic abnormality, something weird happened during the 1st Spackle war, etc.), or is it the result of all of his thought-control exercises and experiments (e.g. too much pressure built up and it busted a hole in the wall, he thought it'd be a cool power to have at the time, etc.)?
    • The second one is more likely.
    • Maybe your own noise acts as a buffer against all the other noise. Though, Todd didn't seem to have a problem, nor did anyone who took the cure, but maybe it takes a while to set in? Or maybe the Mayor just accidentally tapped into the mind of a Lovecraftian nightmare.
  • The first settlers came to New World for religious reasons, and there's evidence of that all around: the waterfall church, the unfinished cathedral, etc. Why, then, is Aaron the only priest in the setting, and why is nobody else particularly devout?
    • Maybe finding their new start so crapsack shook their faith? All the priests quit and the people stopped praying?
    • On top of that, even though their religion is heavily implied to be Christian, Tam says “I pray to all my gods”.
      • Well, Tam is living apart from any town. Their reason that it's "quieter" out there could be an excuse or lampshading their real reason (since he'd broadcast at least occasionally about his gods and assuming he might be shunned for his beliefs). This is all wild speculation, though.
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