Beartown

Beartown Chapter 27 Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
Kira fears something is the matter with Maya, but she’s trying to be “the cool mom” and not say anything intrusive. Instead, she pours herself into the distraction of a case at work. She knows her firm will win this one, like always.
Kira buries her overprotective urge underneath her competitiveness. This shows the two sides of Kira’s personality, too—always pulled between her children and her work.
Themes
Parents and Children Theme Icon
Peter looks at the resignation papers awaiting Sune’s signature. He thinks about the fact that, while most people want to consider themselves “a good team player,” they rarely consider the cost of what that really means. It’s Sune himself who taught Peter that “[accepting] the worst aspects of your teammates because you love the collective” is what really makes you a team player.
Unknowingly anticipating some of the conflict to come, Peter thinks about the fact that being a “team player” might not be an unambiguously good thing. “Loving the collective” without exception might require masking worse individual characteristics than one expects.
Themes
Culture, Character, and Entitlement Theme Icon
Loyalty and Belonging Theme Icon
Peter is interrupted by a call from a Canadian NHL scout, an old friend of his. The scout asks about Kevin’s recent progress and asks whether Peter would agree with his decision to include Kevin in the upcoming NHL draft—is Kevin “the right sort of guy?” Peter knows what that means—Kevin can’t just be a good player; his private life needs to be above reproach, too. Peter assures his friend that Kevin’s grades and family life are top-notch.
Just as he’s thinking about being a team player, Peter is confronted with an example of the issues at stake. He doesn’t know about what Kevin has done, but he accepts that the image Kevin projects is accurate; there’s nothing that needs to be covered up. This moment shows how a collective devotion to loyalty can have unintended consequences.
Themes
Culture, Character, and Entitlement Theme Icon
After practice that day, Amat is invited to join Kevin, Lyt, and Bobo for a movie in Hed. Amat is amaze by how natural his inclusion suddenly feels. After the movie, they stop by the Beartown lake. They play hockey and drink beer, and it all feels “simple […] staying silent in return for being allowed to join in.”
Amat gets to experience being “a team player,” including its dark side. He’s always longed for this kind of inclusion, but now it comes at the cost of saying nothing about what he’s seen—stifling his concerns about Kevin out of “love for the collective.”
Themes
Culture, Character, and Entitlement Theme Icon
Loyalty and Belonging Theme Icon
Related Quotes
Get the entire Beartown LitChart as a printable PDF.
Beartown.pdf.medium
Peter has sometimes had to make moral compromises, like signing players to seven-month contracts and having Tails pretend that they worked for him during the summer months, in order to get by financially as a club. Kira has told Peter that the club has “an unpleasant culture of silence,” but Peter believes that sometimes this is necessary in order to “foster a culture of winning.” Peter signs the resignation form. He knows the form will make it look as if the resignation was Sune’s choice, but that in reality, “he’s just fired his idol.”
Peter rationalizes certain choices, like only paying players for a portion of the year, for the sake of the survival of the club and the endurance of a “winning” culture. Firing Sune is the latest such a step. Kira, as a relative outsider, observes that such rationalizations and the silence surrounding them come with a price, foreshadowing the public torment that their own daughter will soon undergo.
Themes
Culture, Character, and Entitlement Theme Icon
Loyalty and Belonging Theme Icon
Lars wants to discipline Benji for ditching practice, but David says they can’t win the final without him. David picks up a puck, writes something on it, and drives to the cemetery.
Though it’s comparatively harmless, excusing Benji’s behavior for the team’s sake is one example of a rationalization like those Peter has been pondering.
Themes
Culture, Character, and Entitlement Theme Icon
Maya alternates between sleeping and reliving what happened in Kevin’s room. She wishes she could rewind to Friday, before everything happened. She even stole some of her mom’s sleeping pills and tried to figure out how many she’d have to take so that she wouldn’t wake up again.
While everyone considers various moral tradeoffs, Maya contemplates suicide. Backman uses this stark contrast to point out that often, victims bear the brunt of other people’s moral compromises.
Themes
Culture, Character, and Entitlement Theme Icon
Loyalty and Belonging Theme Icon
Ana eats a silent dinner with her dad and then takes the dogs out. Her mom was driven away by the silence, but Ana is used to it. She walks along the illuminated jogging trail that the town built so that women could run safely. Later, she notices Kevin running ahead of her. He stops, as if startled by the dogs, but then she realizes that he looks scared.
The existence of the illuminated jogging trail is an example of a superficial compromise that doesn’t confront an underlying problem (the threat of violence against women). Because Kevin doesn’t know Ana except as Maya’s best friend, his fearful reaction is telling.
Themes
Culture, Character, and Entitlement Theme Icon
Ana shows up at Maya’s, having run all the way there. Even though her parents didn’t notice the marks on Maya’s wrists and neck, Ana sees them immediately. Soon they’re both crying. Maya finally reveals all the details of what happened, and the friends sob in each other’s arms.
Ana puts together the clues and realizes that Kevin must have hurt Maya, and she sees what others have been unable or unwilling to see. Maya is finally able to reveal the truth, while Ana’s perceptiveness is another example of how outside perspectives can be necessary for revealing the truth.
Themes
Loyalty and Belonging Theme Icon