Beartown

Beartown Chapter 31 Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
In the hospital, Maya calmly undergoes all the required examinations. Kira, meanwhile, is at her wits’ end, calling everyone at her legal practice. On the team bus, everyone’s still in an uproar. When David gets a text from Mr. Erdahl with the news of the charges against Kevin, he doesn’t tell the team.
In contrast to the hockey club’s outrage, Maya is calm and compliant. David makes the decision not to share the news right before the rest of the team plays the final game, believing that staying silent is the only thing that will hold the team together right now.
Themes
Parents and Children Theme Icon
Loyalty and Belonging Theme Icon
Resistance and Courage Theme Icon
David has always believed that hockey must stay separated from the outside world. He’s imposed that separation on his players for their sake, too—giving them a safe, secure place away from the struggles of their everyday lives. But now he wonders, “how far are you allowed to go to protect your universe?”
David sees the “hockey bubble” as a positive thing, a way to keep his players safe (and himself, too). But at a moment like this, he suspects that the bubble impinges on other people’s wellbeing even as it protects those inside it.
Themes
Culture, Character, and Entitlement Theme Icon
Parents and Children Theme Icon
Loyalty and Belonging Theme Icon
The nurse, Ann-Katrin, is Hog’s wife. She normally maintains a professional distance from patients and teaches her younger colleagues to do the same, but today, she touches Maya’s cheek and tells her how brave she is.
Ann-Katrin, too, tries to maintain a professional bubble in order to fulfill her role effectively. However, she finds that Maya’s pain and courageous act are worth making an exception, perhaps indicating that the rest of the town should demonstrate similar compassion.
Themes
Resistance and Courage Theme Icon
When Peter arrives at the hospital, he wants to triumphantly announce Kevin’s arrest, but when he sees Maya in the hospital room, all he can do is cry. He promises to get Ana and Maya’s guitar. Then Maya reminds him that he needs to talk to Leo, too, who must be scared. Peter and Kira are horrified to realize that Maya is the only one who’s thought of Leo at all.
Maya continues to think of others first—her little brother has been overlooked and kept in the dark through all this. She realizes that confronting reality is the best way to combat fear in this situation, showing a kind of insight that most people in Beartown seem to lack. Peter and Kira continue to grapple with the shame and sorrow of being unable to protect their daughter.
Themes
Parents and Children Theme Icon
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Before David can make up his mind what to say to his players, Benji stands up in the middle of the bus and speaks to various teammates in turn. He reminds them of the lessons David has taught them over the years, like focusing on the things you can change. He concludes by leading the bus in a chant of “WIN! WIN! WIN!” Then he spends the rest of the trip asleep in the back of the bus. David deletes Mr. Erdahl’s text and pretends he hasn’t heard any news.
Benji speaks up to encourage his teammates in the best way he knows how—reminding them of what David has already taught them over the years. This is sufficient pretext for David to delay breaking the news to his players—it won’t help them win. In this moment, it becomes especially clear that winning doesn’t just take priority over other parts of life—it can actually erase them all together.
Themes
Culture, Character, and Entitlement Theme Icon
Loyalty and Belonging Theme Icon