"leaving two terrible burns: symmetrical, running the whole length of his back, like wings."

Lament for Icarus
Public DomainLament for Icarus - Credit: Herbert James Draper

The book finishes with a final reference to the myth of Icarus. Rick’s scars look like wings, recalling the wings that Icarus used to fly to freedom. Icarus fell to his death when his wings broke, but unlike Icarus, Rick survived. Ironically, whereas Icarus lost his wings and then fell, Rick seems to have gained his wings in his fall. Whereas Icarus lost his freedom (and his life) when he fell, Rick has finally gained his. Through daring to try to escape, Rick has earned his wings.