Anxious People

Anxious People

by

Fredrik Backman

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Anxious People: Chapter 43 Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
In the hostage drama, Roger goes onto the balcony and shouts at the police that they need supplies. Jim asks if they need medical supplies—and won’t stop talking long enough to listen to Roger say they’re hungry. Jack shouts for Jim to be quiet, but Roger swears and goes back inside. He pulls out his notepad and demands that the robber give him their pizza order. The robber doesn’t know what they want. (Being an adult isn’t all it’s cracked up to be—you have to make choices about everything, and getting a divorce means you have to make choices about wallpaper and dishes again.) Annoyed, Zara says the robber has to make demands. The robber says they just want to go home to their daughters, so Roger says he’ll order the robber a capricciosa.
Jim mistakenly assumes that since someone has taken people hostage, the robber has hurt the hostages and hostages are going to need medical attention. Jack isn’t able to step in and employ what he learned in his active listening course before Roger gives up. Meanwhile inside the apartment, the robber again reveals how much the divorce has upended their life and made things excruciatingly difficult. Their desires are simple—get home to their kids—but they have to worry about so much more, like where they’re going to live and eventually, picking out new dishware.
Themes
Marriage, Conflict, and Communication Theme Icon
Mental Health and Connection Theme Icon
The Modern World Theme Icon
Assumptions  Theme Icon
Turning to Zara, Roger asks what she wants. Zara has never had pizza before and has very specific tastes, but Roger says he’ll get her the most expensive pizza. Estelle seems worried about making a decision quickly, so Roger puts her down for a capricciosa. Ro asks for a kebab pizza and then knocks on the closet door to get Julia’s order. Julia asks for Hawaiian, but without pineapple or ham. She then opens the closet door and says Anna-Lena will have the same as Roger. Roger surreptitiously writes a new note since the original one is now wet, and he gruffly orders Lennart a capricciosa, though Lennart is a vegetarian. Then, he ties the pizza order to a lime and tosses it to the police; the lime hits Jack in the forehead.
It’s ironic that Zara berated the robber earlier to make a choice, when she now refuses to do just that. Again, Zara and the robber are very different, but in this case, they have a lot in common. Julia shouting out Anna-Lena’s pizza order is a painful moment for Roger. Anna-Lena wants to make Roger feel useful and needed by sharing hobbies and interests with him, so asking for whatever he’s getting is a way of her saying that she’s still trying to keep their marriage afloat. It shows Roger she still cares and is genuinely trying to help him.
Themes
Marriage, Conflict, and Communication Theme Icon
Mental Health and Connection Theme Icon