The Messenger by Markus Zusak shows us that everyone can live beyond what they are capable of. As the protagonist Ed, helps those in need, he is challenged to do things beyond his capability. In the beginning, Ed is described as the ‘epitome of ordinariness’ and he is called a ‘dead man’.
The reason for this is because he has no meaning to his life and nothing to live for, no goals, ambitions or plans for the future. When he starts receiving the cards however, Ed, for the first time in his life makes a difference in the world around him which pushes him to achieve beyond what he was originally capable of.As he completes each card, Ed learns many valuable life lessons. He starts to take risks, be patient and trust others. Through Audrey, Ed learns that in order to love, you must be willing to trust. Audrey has trouble with opening up to others and letting herself love, as Ed quotes, “Audrey doesn’t love anyone. She refuses.
” Ed decides to take the risk and allow Audrey to love him for a few minutes. He learns that even though doing this may give a person the power to hurt you, taking the risk is one of the things you must do in order to be loved.Ed waits for Audrey and now that she has finally let him in, he sees that being patient with people will pay off in the end. After helping Audrey overcome her fear of love and trust, Ed finds the courage in himself that enables him to open up to his friends and the emotional side of his friendships. The card of hearts helps Ed to really understand the people he loves, which is something he has never done before. Meeting Milla, the widowed old lady, greatly affected Ed and started changing him for the better.She was the first person he helped and the one who showed Ed that sometimes, we must care for the people around us and simply do things to make people happy, without asking for anything in return.
When he met Milla, Ed discovered the joy in making others happy and learnt that random acts of kindness can make a great impact on people’s lives. Seeing Milla happy was fulfilling for Ed. After being with her, he realized that he doesn’t always need a reason to help someone in need. Helping Milla made Ed eel better, like he had a reason to live, because for the first time in his life somebody was depending on him to be around.
One of the most important skills that Ed gains from the messages is courage. At the start of the story, Ed is not a particularly brave person, in fact he usually lets the fear take over and stop him from doing what he wants to do. When he gets the first message, Ed is not even brave enough to go to the location on the card. “First up is Edgar Street. ” He says, “I try to go on a Monday but don’t have the courage. ” But even though Ed is scared, he knows that he must take action.
When he watches the woman at Edgar Street get raped, he sees that his compassion for her is greater than his fear of her alcoholic husband. In time, he works up the courage to face this man and scare him once and for all. Ed is also faced with the Rose brothers who constantly fight and do not appreciate each other. Ed puts himself at risk by violently beating up Gavin Rose which allows the boys to see that they are taking one another for granted. Ed shows the boys that it should be the two of them against the world and not against each other.After these incidents it is clear that the person Ed has become is much braver and more confident than his old self, who could not have done the same things. By the end of the story, Ed becomes a person who is well known and liked in his neighborhood. He changes from the “good-for-nothing” taxi driver he was, to a kind person who is always willing to help others and make the world around him a better place.
After helping those many people, Ed gets a chance to think his life over and comes to the conclusion that he is not fully satisfied with it.He starts to search for a real job and now has goals for the future, close bonds with his friends and people who love him and need him to be there. Most importantly, he knows that he will not end up like his father, a man who never achieved anything and had no one who loved or admired him enough to even attend his funeral.
After the bank robbery, Ed outlives himself countless times and manages to do things that he never thought he could. Ed’s story is proof that anyone can live beyond what they are capable of.