Anxious People

Anxious People

by

Fredrik Backman

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Anxious People: Chapter 31 Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
Jim is interviewing Estelle. He apologizes, but she says this has been great—nothing happens when you’re almost 90. Jim shows Estelle the child’s drawing of the monkey, the frog, and the elk, but Estelle knows nothing about it. She explains that she was there with Knut, who was parking the car. Jim asks about the other people at the viewing, and Estelle says she only spoke to those women “from…you know…from Stockholm.” She winks, but Jim doesn’t know what she means. Estelle says she’s referring to Julia and Ro, who are having a baby together even though they’re both from Stockholm. Jim asks if she’s referring to the fact that they’re gay, but Estelle says there’s nothing wrong with that—she loves that people can love who they want. She also really likes Stockholm, even though she’s married to Knut and likes “the usual.”
Unlike everyone else who was at the viewing, Estelle seems to have had a great day—perhaps because she tried to make friends, rather than alienate the other prospective buyers. The way she talks about Julia and Ro being able to marry and have a baby together is humorous, but it also touches on one positive thing that’s come with the modern era: more gay and lesbian couples are able to legally marry and have children now than at any other point in Estelle’s long life. Still, though Estelle is outwardly being nice, notice that she’s alienating Jim with her euphemistic language.
Themes
Marriage, Conflict, and Communication Theme Icon
The Modern World Theme Icon
Assumptions  Theme Icon