"'Children!" the third raven exclaimed, exasperated now. "You are con-fused. Totally, utterly con-fused. As long as you are, you will never find out what you seek."
-- In A Glass Grimmly, Adam Gidwitz
Did you notice the hyphenated con-fused? As I read In a Glass Grimmly, I stopped at this point. I liked that hyphen. I liked how the word enhanced the ravens' message: the need to accept yourself. This is a common theme in children's books.
By inserting that punctuation mark, the con- is forced to act like the prefix "with" and underscores the fused meaning of "together". (This is not the dictionary's origin of the word). I know I am now in geeky territory here.
You get con-fused when you follow the crowd, try to fit in, or let others define who you are. A total focus on being part of a we or "with", blurs the lines of what you want and believe in.
The word confused features several definitions. According to Merriam-Webster, it means to be "perplexed, bewildered" or "to lack clarity". The ravens are right, then. Validation and identity must come from within. If they do not, the consequence is remaining "mixed up" and lost.
The ravens hope to help out the main characters and offer their wise advice. But sometimes you are not ready.
"Jill said, "Do you know that they're talking about?"
'No idea," Jack replied.