Anxious People

Anxious People

by

Fredrik Backman

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Anxious People: Chapter 12 Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
Back in the interview with the real estate agent, the older policeman awkwardly explains that the young policeman is his son. He adds that his wife didn’t want them to work together, as she thought he was overprotective. Blushing, the officer says his son is really too sensitive to be a police officer. His son saw a man jump off a bridge 10 years ago, and now his son wants to save everyone, even the bad guys like the bank robber. Then, the officer reminds the real estate agent that everything is being recorded and offers her a child’s drawing to identify. She doesn’t recognize it, but the officer says it’s a monkey, a frog, and either a giraffe or a horse (he votes giraffe).
The older officer’s reminder to the agent that everything is being recorded seems more like a reminder to himself. Now, he can’t escape the fact that he’s spoken about such personal topics with a witness, as they’re now in the official record of the hostage situation. However, the fact that the man voices these facts and thoughts suggests that even if he didn’t witness the man jump off the bridge, he’s still traumatized by seeing (and not being able to help) his son struggle so much to process what he saw.
Themes
Parenting and Fear Theme Icon
Mental Health and Connection Theme Icon
The Modern World Theme Icon
The narrator says that truthfully, the man on the bridge didn’t make the boy want to be a policeman. It was the teenage girl who stood on the bridge a week after the man—“the one who didn’t jump.”
The fact that a girl didn’t jump off the bridge offers some hope that not everything is awful. The young officer wasn’t motivated by his failure, but rather, what seems like a success.
Themes
Mental Health and Connection Theme Icon