Beartown Chapter 23 Summary & Analysis

Later, Peter and Kira will hate themselves for waking up happy the next morning. They think Maya spent the night at Ana’s and are surprised to find her in bed. Maya knows she can’t tell them the truth; she knows they’d never get over it. When everyone else leaves the house, Maya showers and tries to hide all evidence of the assault.
Especially after having lost a child, Peter and Kira feel guilty whenever one of their children suffers. And Maya, knowing this, feels guilty for subjecting her parents to her suffering and so hides her pain. This shows how an excessive drive to protect a child can have unintended consequences.
Parents and Children Theme Icon
Kevin has played through countless hockey injuries and they’ve never bothered him, but today, the scratches on his hand are throwing off his shots. When Benji comes over, Kevin is furious that Benji didn’t answer his calls sooner. Benji asks him what happened last night and mentions that he saw Maya in the forest. Kevin continues to yell at Benji for abandoning him at the party, calling him an ungrateful “virus” who “can’t live without some sort of host.” He kicks Benji out.
Kevin is tense and on edge, his conscience bothering him about what happened last night. And Benji clearly has his suspicions. Though Kevin loves Benji, he displays a tendency to dehumanize people—here, in his language about “viruses”—when they pose a threat to him. In the aftermath of the assault, it’s especially telling that he treats even his best friend this way.
Culture, Character, and Entitlement Theme Icon
Loyalty and Belonging Theme Icon
Kevin’s parents get home late that night to a spotless house. Mr. Erdahl finds the statistics Kevin has left him about yesterday’s game and beams.
The Erdahl house displays no obvious signs of what’s happened, reinforcing the silence that prevails in their home (and in the town). As usual, all Mr. Erdahl cares about is his son’s success—and that success is conveyed to him through bare, depersonalized statistics. Their home is emotionally sterile as well as physically spotless.
Parents and Children Theme Icon