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We All Fall Down by Robert Cormier

The Psychology behind the story

Luis Cardenas

on 31 May 2013

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Transcript of We All Fall Down by Robert Cormier

A look into the psychology.... We All Fall Down An in-depth look into the characters Jane Jerome The Psychology in the Story In the novel, 16 year old Jane Jerome is one of the main characters. She goes to Burnside high school and lives with her parents, her younger sister Karen, and her younger brother Artie in a small town named Burnside. Problems Jane did not have a specific condition, but rather a set of problems that she dealt with. Her feelings throughout the story were always in constant motion. One of these problems was her post-trauma conditions; she no longer felt safe in the house, and often had nightmares. She was more suspicious. And she was filled with sadness. Also, Jane had to face a family that was falling apart, silently, but falling nonetheless. She knew that without Kate, the family would be empty. Growth With Jane Jerome we can see how she grows psychologically. She matures throughout the story, and has the unfortunate luck to find out that people are not always what they seem in a very harsh way. Still, how she reacts to the situations are what depicts her growth. For example, in the end of the book, she confronts Buddy after letting him know that she had found out about the trashing. She was not angry with him, but rather felt pity towards Buddy for the condition he was in. Buddy Walker Buddy Walker is a 16 year old teen. He changes after his family has been broken; At the beginning he trashes the house of Jane Jerome, and watches silently as Jane's sister Karen is assaulted and finally thrown down the stairs to the cellar, which results in a coma. Later on in the story he starts noticing Jane and begins to fall for her and fills the empty hole with the love for Jane. Addiction In the book, addictions are depicted through Buddy Walker. At first, it was a way to find release as things were on his mind, but then gradually it got a hold on him. He became an alcoholic. At first it was for the "fun," but then he saw that he couldn't stop. He used it as a coping mechanism, specially when his parents divorced, or whenever he became worried about his relationship with Jane. There were a few times that he stopped and was able to control himself, but it was only through a strong influence such as Jane. Depression It can be argued that Buddy has some degree of depression. First, with problems at home, he quickly tries to find ways to ease the pain. He is found by Harry Flowers, who takes advantage of his depression and uses him. Alcohol made Buddy's depression worse, seeing how he knew he could not control himself. He did not see the world the way he should... until he met Jane Jerome. That brought happiness back to his life, and he changed temporarily, but once the relationship was over, he became worse than before, consumed in his addiction of alcohol, worsening his 'depression.' by Robert Cormier "They enter the house at 9:02 pm and trash their way through the Cape Cod cottage. At 9:46 pm Karen Jerome makes the mistake of arriving home early. Thrown down the basement stairs, Karen slips into a coma. The trashers slip away.
"But The Avenger has seen it all..." Summary of the Story The story starts off in the small town of Burnside, inside the Jerome family house. Inside, teenage vandals trash the house, making sure not to break any windows, but destroying the rest. Amidst all the action, Kate, the youngest daughter of the family, is pushed down the stairs, and placed in a coma. However, a person that calls himself 'The Avenger' witnesses what happens from outside of the house; he promises to avenge what happened that night.
The story veers into the different perspectives of various characters, mostly the perspectives of 'The Avenger,' Jane Jerome (Kate's sister), and Buddy Walker. The story narrates in the perspective of 'The Avenger.' It paints a back-story that ultimately leads to the climax. It illustrates the previous murders and schemes of 'The Avenger.' The story continues. While the Jerome family strives to find the culprits, Jane's life continues, different from before. She realizes that her old friends do not understand her. She lives in sadness, but tries to cope with it, maintaining her emotions bottled up inside her. This escalates when the headlines comes out saying that she had given the key of the house to Harry Flowers, the ring leader of the vandals. It was this event that got Buddy regretting his actions; he watched Jane and eventually met her, thus sparking a relationship. She begins spending more time with Buddy. Meanwhile, 'The Avenger' dogs her steps, stalking her, finding information about the vandals. When he sees her with Buddy, he is disgusted and vows to turn his revenge upon her as well, for her treason to the house. Then the climax is reached. Kate comes out of her coma, which is not good for Buddy, who still had not told Jane the truth. One day, a boy Amos Dalton lures Jane Jerome into a secluded house where she finally meets 'The Avenger.' She is taken hostage. It turned out that 'The Avenger' was none other than Mickey 'Looney.' He ends up telling all the truth to Jane, to her dismay, and Jane cunningly makes him feel guilty. Then, tormented by his emotions, 'The Avenger' took his own life. Buddy Walker is also one of the main characters. He was there in the house when it was trashed. He feels guilty and very often took to drinking in order to cope with an emptiness inside of him. He meets Jane Jerome and falls in love with her. However, he does not tell Jane the truth, ultimately ruining his relationship with her. The story also follows the footsteps of Jane Jerome and how she copes with Kate's condition. In the story her struggle is shown as she starts to see the world differently. She has an emptiness in her that she eventually fills up with the relationship between her and Buddy Walker. However, little does she know that Buddy was one of the trashers. After the trashing early in the novel, Jane feels bad about arguing with her sister. A lot of thoughts come to her about her relationship with Karen. Due to the incident in the house and Karen's coma, Jane’s behavior changes. She does not feel as comfortable in her home. Then she goes out with Buddy Walker. She allows him to kiss her, hug her, caress her. She thinks that when she's with Buddy everything is wonderful and her troubles go away, but little does she know he was one of the trashers. This however, is not the case. While desperately trying to cope with the incident of his father moving out and him not telling Jane about the trashing, Buddy struggles to find comfort and support. For some time it seems as though Buddy finds these things amongst a groups of individuals. These individuals however, do not offer Walker true companionship, but instead offer him the temptation and consolidation found within alcohol. Due to her problems in her life, she became more isolated from the world. She no longer socialized as she did. I believe that one of her coping mechanisms was going to the mall. Throughout the story, Jane is there as well as with Kate in many instances. This is partially due to the fact that she doesn't feel safe in the house anymore. 'The Avenger' He is also known as Mickey "Looney". He is a middle-aged man, gardener, seemingly nice person, yet shy. Little did people suspect that he was hiding his true side. He killed a bully, Vaughn Masterson, at school and his grandfather, and got away with it. He was portrayed as an 11 year-old child most of the story, until he abducted Jane Jerome and it was revealed that Mickey committed those crimes 30 years ago; he planned to kill Jane for dating Buddy. He committed suicide at the end of the book as he was about to murder Jane. Theories Behind 'The Avenger' It is not clear what conditions Mickey has. I believe that he has a certain degree of psychotic disorder. This is due to his delusion, that he thinks that he is someone else, such as an eleven year-old child. However, it can also be argued that he could have multiple personalities disorder. He could have been Mickey "Looney" to everyone else, and then changed to become 'The Avenger" Themes One of the most prominent themes with 'The Avenger' is murder and revenge. His whole life is wrapped around it. It hints that 'The Avenger' might be a sociopath, depending if he has any remorse for his actions. However, his suicide disproves this notion. It does prove that the more you hurt somebody, it will fall upon you, like it did with 'The Avenger.' Thank You For Your Attention!!!
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