Anxious People

Anxious People

by

Fredrik Backman

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Anxious People: Chapter 72 Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
It’s a few days after New Year’s Day, and a woman (the robber) leaves a building with her two daughters, laughing. Then, suddenly, the woman stops. Her daughters keep bouncing and trying to climb her—they haven’t seen the police car yet with Jim and Jack inside. Silently, the robber begs them to not do this in front of her daughters. The car slowly drives past.
The robber has expressed willingness to take responsibility for her actions, but her main goal is protecting her daughters. She doesn’t want them to have to suffer the trauma of seeing their mother arrested and imprisoned, so this moment is extremely tense for her.
Themes
Parenting and Fear Theme Icon
Assumptions  Theme Icon
Jim says he gets it if Jack wants to arrest the bank robber, but Jack says he just wanted to see her so they can say they both let her go. After a minute, Jim says he knows Jack got a job offer in Stockholm, and he thinks Jack should take it. Jack refuses, and Jim says not to refuse for his sake. Jack lies that he has other reasons not to take it. Really, he just knows that his mom would say that there are worse reasons to turn down a job.
Jim wants Jack to be able to chase his dreams, even if that means Jack moves to Stockholm for work. However, the hostage situation—and Jim’s choice to help the robber—seems to have reminded Jack that it’s also important to prioritize his relationship with his dad.
Themes
Parenting and Fear Theme Icon
Jack asks if Jim wants coffee: he thought they could drive to see his sister. It’ll be her birthday soon, and maybe she’d like to come home. They spend the next day driving and knock on her door. Maybe she’ll go with them—and maybe she won’t. Little kids love their parents just because their parents belong to them, and perhaps this doesn’t change when kids get older. All Jack’s mom asked was that her family members do their best and save who they can.
Perhaps inspired by Jim’s choice to help the robber, Jack decides it’s time to make one final attempt to help his sister. They can’t force her to accept their help, but they can let her know that they’ll always be here for her, whenever she’s ready. In suggesting the trip, Jack also strengthens his relationship with Jim, as Jim has never fully given up on his daughter. So, Jack is following his dad’s lead here.
Themes
Parenting and Fear Theme Icon
Mental Health and Connection Theme Icon
The Modern World Theme Icon
Assumptions  Theme Icon