“They built a ministry to deal with people like us, Thomas, a whole government ministry. They don’t like us, they don’t want us, and they’re telling the normal people to hate us. You heard what they are saying about us. They say we’re cretins who can’t do anything, feeble-minded idiots who just take and give nothing back. They’re making killing us look like a kindness.”
Grace to Thomas. Eugenica.
This speech comes quite late in the book, but it encapsulates the despair and apparent impossibility faced by Grace and Thomas at that particular point. They have both come to realise the enormity of the situation that they find themselves in, and the danger inherent with it.
Grace and Tom are just two young people. They have succeeded in seeing some of their friends whisked off to safety, but circumstances have pushed back them back towards the very place from which they escaped. This might be because Grace made a promise to rescue another friend who is still a captive. Before the story moves towards its climatic conclusion, however, I wanted to impress upon the reader the weight that these two young disabled people are carrying. They are being pursued and if they are caught death will be their punishment. Their few supporters have seemingly been scattered. The fate of those left behind very much rests in their hands, and Grace is a girl with only one leg and one hand.
I feel that this piece of dialogue illustrates how much Grace has grown from the insular orphan encountered at the beginning of the book. From a loner she has become someone who learns that friendship imposes obligations, and she has matured enough to accept those responsibilities. Her courage has grown also. She is frightened but her innate bravery has made itself known and despite the odds stacked against them, Grace is determined to at least face her fear, in the shape of the Ministry of Social Biology, and do the right thing.