Anxious People

Anxious People

by

Fredrik Backman

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The Monkey and the Frog/The Robber’s Daughters Character Analysis

The robber’s daughters are six and eight years old, and they adore their mother. Their nicknames, the monkey and the frog, came from how they moved when the robber was pregnant with them, and the robber only ever calls her daughters by their nicknames. The robber and her husband often comment that they don’t deserve such good kids—the girls seldom, if ever, fight and never make each other feel bad. However, the robber becomes very concerned for her daughters’ emotional wellbeing during the divorce, especially once she realizes that her older daughter (incorrectly) believes that her parents are fighting over her. The robber ultimately chooses to rob the bank for her daughters’ sake, highlighting the lengths that parents, within the world of the novel, will go to in order to protect their kids.

The Monkey and the Frog/The Robber’s Daughters Quotes in Anxious People

The Anxious People quotes below are all either spoken by The Monkey and the Frog/The Robber’s Daughters or refer to The Monkey and the Frog/The Robber’s Daughters. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Parenting and Fear Theme Icon
).
Chapter 1  Quotes

Sometimes it hurts, it really hurts, for no other reason than the fact that our skin doesn’t feel like it’s ours. Sometimes we panic, because the bills need paying and we have to be grown-up and we don’t know how, because it’s so horribly, desperately easy to fail at being grown-up.

Because everyone loves someone, and anyone who loves someone has had those desperate nights where we lie awake trying to figure out how we can afford to carry on being human beings. Sometimes that makes us do things that seem ridiculous in hindsight, but which felt like the only way out at the time.

One single really bad idea. That’s all it takes.

Page Number: 2
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 20 Quotes

Because you’d never rob a bank, so you haven’t got anything in common with this bank robber.

Except fear, possibly. Because maybe you’ve been really frightened at some time, and so was the bank robber. Possibly because the bank robber had small children and had therefore had a lot of practice being afraid. Perhaps you, too, have children, in which case you’ll know that you’re frightened the whole time, frightened of not knowing everything and of not having the energy to do everything and of not coping with everything.

Page Number: 53
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 40 Quotes

“I just wish Roger could feel important again.”

Julia didn’t seem to follow the logic.

“Grandchildren would make him feel important?”

Anna-Lena smiled weakly.

“Have you ever held a three-year-old by the hand on the way home from preschool?”

“No.”

“You’re never more important than you are then.”

Page Number: 177
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 65 Quotes

Because it wasn’t Lennart who opened the door when Jim showed up with the pizzas. It was the bank robber, the real bank robber. Both Roger and Lennart had insisted on being allowed to wear the ski mask, but after a long pause she had said no. She had looked at them, her voice gentle with appreciation, and then given them a determined nod.

“Obviously I can’t set a good example to my daughters and teach them not to do idiotic things now. But I might at least be able to show them how you take responsibility for your actions.”

Page Number: 291
Explanation and Analysis:

“What did you need the money from the bank robbery for?”

The desperation on her face revealed the chaos in her heart as she said: “To pay the rent. I needed six thousand five hundred. My husband’s lawyer was threatening to take the girls away from me if I didn’t have anywhere to live.”

Jim held onto the handrail to stop himself collapsing as his heart broke. Empathy is like vertigo. Six thousand five hundred, because she thought she’d lose her children otherwise. Her children.

“There are rules, legislation, no one can just take your children away from you simply because…,” he began, then thought better of it and said: “But now they can…now you’ve held up a bank and…” His voice almost gave out as he whispered: “You poor child, what have you got yourself mixed up in?”

Page Number: 294
Explanation and Analysis:
Get the entire Anxious People LitChart as a printable PDF.
Anxious People PDF

The Monkey and the Frog/The Robber’s Daughters Character Timeline in Anxious People

The timeline below shows where the character The Monkey and the Frog/The Robber’s Daughters appears in Anxious People. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 12
Parenting and Fear Theme Icon
Mental Health and Connection Theme Icon
The Modern World Theme Icon
...a child’s drawing to identify. She doesn’t recognize it, but the officer says it’s a monkey, a frog , and either a giraffe or a horse (he votes giraffe). (full context)
Chapter 16
The Modern World Theme Icon
Assumptions  Theme Icon
...for that amount. Jack then shows her the child’s drawing, which she thinks depicts a frog, a monkey , and an elk. Then, she returns her attention to her phone—a celebrity couple is... (full context)
Chapter 17
Parenting and Fear Theme Icon
The Modern World Theme Icon
...the police. Just as the robber closes the apartment door, a child’s drawing of a monkey, a frog , and an elk falls from their pocket. And London is right: normal robbers ask... (full context)
Chapter 20
Parenting and Fear Theme Icon
Marriage, Conflict, and Communication Theme Icon
The bank robber left home this morning, not realizing their youngest daughter put the drawing of a monkey, the frog, and the elk in the robber’s pocket.... (full context)
Parenting and Fear Theme Icon
On weeks they live with their robber parent, the daughters take the bus places and giggle about their robber parent being an elk when they... (full context)
The Modern World Theme Icon
...the robber got a letter saying the other parent applied for sole custody of their daughters, given that the robber didn’t have housing or a job. The robber then went to... (full context)
Mental Health and Connection Theme Icon
The Modern World Theme Icon
Assumptions  Theme Icon
...up their parent’s faults. And the robber is afraid the welfare office will take their daughters away, and all the robber needs is a chance. The robber found a job—but the... (full context)
The Modern World Theme Icon
Assumptions  Theme Icon
The robber struggled on, hoping to keep their daughters from seeing how stressed they are. The girls could see anyway. The robber has spent... (full context)
Chapter 31
Marriage, Conflict, and Communication Theme Icon
The Modern World Theme Icon
Assumptions  Theme Icon
...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... (full context)
Chapter 32
Parenting and Fear Theme Icon
Mental Health and Connection Theme Icon
Assumptions  Theme Icon
...stop eating fish sticks after seeing the dolphins at the aquarium. The robber says their daughters, who are six and eight, are like that. Zara criticizes the robber for trying to... (full context)
Chapter 38
Mental Health and Connection Theme Icon
The Modern World Theme Icon
Assumptions  Theme Icon
...tells him he can go if he wants and then offers him cotton balls; their daughters often get nosebleeds. Roger puts a cotton ball in each nostril, and then he and... (full context)
Chapter 41
Parenting and Fear Theme Icon
Mental Health and Connection Theme Icon
The Modern World Theme Icon
Assumptions  Theme Icon
...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... (full context)
Chapter 43
Marriage, Conflict, and Communication Theme Icon
Mental Health and Connection Theme Icon
The Modern World Theme Icon
Assumptions  Theme Icon
...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. (full context)
Chapter 47
Mental Health and Connection Theme Icon
Assumptions  Theme Icon
...up in prison for years. She pulls off her mask and thinks that hopefully, her daughters’ dad will teach the girls to lie and say their mom is dead, rather than... (full context)
Chapter 61
Mental Health and Connection Theme Icon
The Modern World Theme Icon
Assumptions  Theme Icon
...the police take her; she just needed rent money so her ex-husband wouldn’t take her daughters away. She’s sobbing by now. Julia, Anna-Lena, and Estelle suggest that they can fix this,... (full context)
Chapter 65
Parenting and Fear Theme Icon
Assumptions  Theme Icon
...after telling the hostages that she has to do this. She needs to show her daughters how to take responsibility for one’s actions. (full context)
Parenting and Fear Theme Icon
Assumptions  Theme Icon
When the bank robber opens the door, her hair is the same color as Jim’s daughter’s. They both notice that neither of them has removed their wedding rings. The robber asks... (full context)
Marriage, Conflict, and Communication Theme Icon
Mental Health and Connection Theme Icon
Assumptions  Theme Icon
...does one eat an elephant? A bit at a time. The robber laughs that her daughters would like the joke. They both sit on the landing, and Jim says his wife... (full context)
Parenting and Fear Theme Icon
The Modern World Theme Icon
Assumptions  Theme Icon
...name, he got to keep it. She didn’t want to make a fuss for their daughters’ sake. The girls are with their dad now, but they were going to celebrate the... (full context)
Mental Health and Connection Theme Icon
The Modern World Theme Icon
Assumptions  Theme Icon
...give up now, and the pistol’s not real. Jim, failing to see anyone but his daughter in the robber’s face, says that the robber will still end up in prison. He... (full context)
Chapter 66
The Modern World Theme Icon
Assumptions  Theme Icon
Panting, Estelle says that when Knut got sick, they signed the apartment to their daughter, but she doesn’t want to live here. Estelle has been here alone ever since, and... (full context)
Chapter 68
Marriage, Conflict, and Communication Theme Icon
...in another man: Julia and Ro’s son. Ro and Julia will remain quirky, and the monkey and the frog will visit them every day and love them. Julia and Ro will argue and make... (full context)
Parenting and Fear Theme Icon
Marriage, Conflict, and Communication Theme Icon
Mental Health and Connection Theme Icon
Estelle walks back home and calls her daughter to tell her not to worry about the apartment. Estelle is going to have to... (full context)
Chapter 71
Parenting and Fear Theme Icon
The girl (the robber) grew up and had daughters of her own, a monkey and a frog. She tried to be a good parent,... (full context)
Parenting and Fear Theme Icon
Marriage, Conflict, and Communication Theme Icon
The next morning, the mom (the robber) found a notebook in her oldest daughter’s backpack. It fell open to a story titled “The Princess with Two Kingdoms.” It’s about... (full context)
Parenting and Fear Theme Icon
The mom (the robber) got her daughters to school that day. She didn’t fight her ex-husband or her ex-boss or make a... (full context)
Chapter 72
Parenting and Fear Theme Icon
Assumptions  Theme Icon
...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... (full context)