64 pages 2 hours read

Rainbow Rowell

Carry On: The Rise and Fall of Simon Snow

Fiction | Novel | YA | Published in 2015

A modern alternative to SparkNotes and CliffsNotes, SuperSummary offers high-quality Study Guides with detailed chapter summaries and analysis of major themes, characters, and more.


Fate Versus Free Will

Simon’s role as the Chosen One pits him and those close to him in a struggle between fate and free will. Simon’s magic is stronger than that of anyone in history, and he believes that he is meant to save the world. However, he feels trapped rather than empowered by his destiny. In Chapter 62, he tells Baz, “I just do what’s expected of me. […] I don’t get to choose or plan. I just take it as it comes. And someday, something will catch me unawares or be too big to fight, but I’ll fight anyway” (355). This passage illustrates Simon’s lack of agency. He sees his life as a series of dangers and disasters that will soon come to a brutal end. Baz also feels caged by fate and expects to die an early death. The Mage seeks to strip the Old Families of their power, with a particular vendetta against the Pitches, who are “the nearest thing [mages] have to a royal family” (82). As the last heir of the House of Pitch, Baz considers it his destiny to give his life defending his family from the Mage’s ultimate weapon, Simon: “This is my world, the World of Mages.