Beartown

Beartown Chapter 24 Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
On Monday morning, a burglar alarm goes off at the school. Jeannette searches the school and discovers Benji sleeping on a couple of desks. He blearily recalls having drunk a lot the night before. Jeannette tells Benji that she should report him to the headmaster, but she thinks maybe that’s what he really wants. She’s not going to help him ruin his life. She tells him to go and shower. Benji apologizes for calling her “sweet cheeks” and promises that nobody else on the team will speak to her disrespectfully again. She knows he means it.
Benji is clearly troubled by the events of the weekend and trying to bury his emotions. Jeanette perceives the potential in Benji, and Benji offers a sincere apology. Benji’s promise about his teammates—who do respect his leadership—also shows that hockey culture isn’t monolithic. If someone makes the effort to speak up bad behavior, change is possible.
Themes
Culture, Character, and Entitlement Theme Icon
Resistance and Courage Theme Icon
Kevin’s dad comes outside and shoots some pucks with him that morning. He almost asks Kevin about the marks on his face, but instead he warns Kevin that people in Beartown will try to stick to him like “viruses.” He needs to resist them. And the upcoming hockey final is about what sort of man Kevin wants to be: one who “goes out and grabs what he deserves, or […] stands in a corner waiting for someone to give it to him.”
Mr. Erdahl’s words chillingly recall Kevin’s earlier remarks to Benji. It’s now obvious where Kevin gets some of his language and attitudes, and it’s not just from the locker room. Mr. Erdahl’s comment about “[grabbing] what he deserves” suggests that, regardless of Mr. Erdahl’s intent, Kevin applies this idea not just to hockey, but to his relationships with others, especially women.
Themes
Culture, Character, and Entitlement Theme Icon
Parents and Children Theme Icon
Inside, Kevin’s mom wishes she could talk to him. She was puzzled to find sheets and a bloodstained T-shirt in the dryer; Kevin has never done his own laundry before. She also found a blouse-button on the floor of his room this morning.
Even as Kevin’s dad reinforces some of the attitudes that have made Kevin what he is, Mrs. Erdahl picks up on clues that undermine her perception of her perfect son. But at this point, her silence still overpowers her suspicions.
Themes
Parents and Children Theme Icon
Kevin knocks on William Lyt’s door and asks him if he’s ready to walk to school. Lyt is overjoyed, since Kevin always walks with Benji. He pulls out a hundred-kronor note and laughs when Kevin takes it. He’s delighted to share a secret with Kevin.
Lyt, who’s hungry for Kevin’s approval, gets promoted to Benji’s usual spot in Kevin’s circle. The crassness of the bet contrasts with the anguish Maya is feeling.
Themes
Culture, Character, and Entitlement Theme Icon
Loyalty and Belonging Theme Icon
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Maya burns her torn blouse in the shower. It takes forever to clean up the mess, and she cries, missing Ana. And even though the garbage bin is only ten yards from the house, she’s too scared to walk that far alone.
In contrast to Kevin, who’s received little besides praise and tangible rewards (the cash) since the assault, Maya is literally left cleaning up the mess. It’s a disturbing comparison of the lot faced by a perpetrator and a victim, and it also echoes the way that Fatima always has to clean up after the players, even when it causes her physical pain. Again, the players and their desires come above all else.
Themes
Culture, Character, and Entitlement Theme Icon