Anxious People

Anxious People

by

Fredrik Backman

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Anxious People: Chapter 44 Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
Jack tries to shimmy into the vent, but he gets stuck, and Jim has to pull him back out. They both fall to the floor, with the rabbit head rolling between them. Jack says nobody could get through there and goes to the living room to curse and pace. Jim joins him a moment later and finds Jack staring at the half-burnt ski mask in the grate. In the kitchen, Jim finds pizza covered in plastic wrap in the fridge—who does that during a hostage drama? Trying to cheer Jack up, Jim asks how the robber could’ve lost so much blood. But the officer standing guard in the hall interrupts: the blood on the floor is stage blood.
Jim and Jack are so confused as they peruse the crime scene because they don’t see what they expect to see. Aside from the blood, all signs point to a cozy get-together between friends, which they believe isn’t at all the same as a hostage situation. Readers, of course, realize that the hostages made friends hours ago, but Jack and Jim haven’t been able to parse that from their witness interviews. That the blood is fake also throws a wrench in their beliefs—it suggests that nobody’s dead or even injured. The hostage drama was, perhaps, just a fun time for everyone—and somehow, blood got on the floor.
Themes
Mental Health and Connection Theme Icon
Assumptions  Theme Icon
Jim and Jack search the apartment again, “Staring at everything but still seeing nothing.” Studying the small table next to where the police found the pistol, Jack asks where they found it when they stormed the apartment. Jim says it was on the little table, and Jack says they’ve been thinking about this all wrong.
What Jack and Jim don’t see is that the hostages weren’t afraid, even of the bank robber. Jack is starting to put things together, but for now, readers are left to wonder what, exactly, he believes has happened.
Themes
Assumptions  Theme Icon