Anxious People

Anxious People

by

Fredrik Backman

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Anxious People: Chapter 25 Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
In the continuation of Zara’s interview with Jim, Jim admits he feels silly for saying what he said about banks. He asks Zara again to describe the robber, anything she remembers about him. Zara says Jim obviously knows the robber is male.  Otherwise, having a pistol pointed at you is traumatic, and she doesn’t remember anything else. She has nothing to share when Jim shows her the child’s drawing, and she’s confused when Jim asks where she was in the apartment during the hostage drama. He explains that Jack thinks a hostage helped the robber. It’s odd that Zara was at the viewing at all and didn’t seem afraid when the robber pointed the gun at her. 
It's hard to parse Zara’s tone when she says that obviously, Jim knows the robber is male. She clearly doesn’t think highly of Jim, but it’s not clear at all if she knows something about the robber that Jim doesn’t and just isn’t willing to say so. Then, Jim subtly implies that Jack suspects Zara, as she clearly didn’t want to buy the apartment and therefore had no discernable reason to be at the viewing.
Themes
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Jim’s accusation offends Zara, so Jim moves on to asking how many people were in the apartment. Zara says she was there, there was the real estate agent, two couples, and the rabbit. But she’s certain nobody helped the robber, since they were all idiots. Jim then asks if the robber shot himself on purpose or by accident and explains that the floor is covered in blood. Zara asks where the blood is in the apartment and then says, “Oh.” She threatens to call her lawyer.
Zara seems to assume that she’s smarter than Jim and everyone else in the apartment, an assumption that may or may not be true. Again, Zara hides her emotions well when she asks about the blood on the floor. So, it’s impossible to tell if she indeed finds this concerning, especially since she immediately jumps to asking for legal representation.
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Jim asks once again why Zara was at the apartment, and she reveals that viewing middle-class apartments is her hobby. She likens it to heroin or capturing baby birds; it’s a “forbidden attraction.” Finally, she says she wasn’t afraid of the pistol—which she knew was real—because she’d thought about killing herself for a long time. She was just surprised to realize in that moment that she didn’t want to die.
Readers now learn that Zara indeed has a hobby—and it’s darkly comical that she views middle-class apartments as a “forbidden attraction.” This passage also reveals just how mentally unwell Zara has been, if it’s only when the pistol was pointed at her that she discovered she wanted to live. It's still unclear, though, why she’d reveal such a personal revelation to Jim, whom she dislikes. 
Themes
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The Modern World Theme Icon
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