Anxious People

Anxious People

by

Fredrik Backman

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Anxious People: Chapter 41 Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
Estelle approaches Roger, the robber, and Ro in the hallway and asks if she can make them something to eat—people usually keep food in the freezer. The robber says they don’t want to be any trouble, and Ro suggests they order pizza. Sadly, the robber says they don’t have enough money to order pizza. For the first time, Roger looks curiously at the robber and asks what their plan was.
Estelle is acting more like a host than a hostage, which both lightens the mood and helps relieve some of Ro and Roger’s stress. The robber, though, takes this as one more reason to think of themselves as a failure, since they seem to believe it’s fully their responsibility to feed their hostages.
Themes
Mental Health and Connection Theme Icon
Assumptions  Theme Icon
The robber says they don’t have a plan. They just need rent money, since they’re getting divorced and a lawyer said they’d take the robber’s daughters away. It’s probably best if they give themselves up. Ro suggests the police would shoot the robber, and Roger agrees. Suddenly determined, the robber says they’re a “failure and an idiot” and walks toward the door. They can’t do anything right, so the police might as well shoot them. Ro gets in the robber’s way; she knows how it feels to always get things wrong. Ro tells the robber they can’t give up, and she points out that in films, the police always order pizza for hostages. Roger is disbelieving, and his eye is twitching. He stares at the closet door as though trying to sense Anna-Lena’s presence, and then he says he’ll organize the pizza order.
Everything seems lost for the robber—they’re going to lose their kids and now, they’re in deep trouble with the law. Ro and Roger, though, are beginning to develop empathy for the robber and see the robber as a fellow human being. They (particularly Ro) also now see the robber as someone relatable, since they’ve made mistakes, too. With this, Ro realizes something the narrator has encouraged readers to understand: that not much separates any law-abiding citizen from ending up a lot like the robber.
Themes
Parenting and Fear Theme Icon
Mental Health and Connection Theme Icon
The Modern World Theme Icon
Assumptions  Theme Icon