Beartown

Beartown Chapter 34 Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
Kira and Peter are sitting on the front steps of their house. The feeling of distance between them reminds Peter of the barrier of grief they felt in the aftermath of Isak’s death. Peter blames himself; his club is responsible for the way Kevin was nurtured. Kira feels nothing but the desire to kill Kevin.
Maya’s tragedy is reminiscent of Isak’s death for the Anderssons, if only in the sense that it reminds the parents how little control they really have. Peter recognizes that hockey plays a likely role, which only increases his sense of responsibility.
Themes
Culture, Character, and Entitlement Theme Icon
Parents and Children Theme Icon
Kira kisses Ana, who’s crying and ashamed over the shattered computer. She explains to Ana that she loves her, but that the Anderssons need to be together as a family right now. Peter drives Ana home, wishing he could say something comforting, but unable to lie. After she gets home, Ana takes her dogs into the forest and cries into their fur.
Ana belongs to the family in a way, but the Anderssons need space to process their grief separately for a while. Ana’s reliance on her dogs shows that the animals can offer her more comfort than humans; in a way, the town’s obsession with being “bears” has made everyone a little less human in times of crisis.
Themes
Parents and Children Theme Icon
Loyalty and Belonging Theme Icon
Back at home, Peter and Kira cry together, unable to figure out how to help Maya through this, suspecting that she’s already stronger than them. Kira says it isn’t Peter’s fault or hockey’s; after all, “it takes a village to raise a child.” Peter says that maybe they picked the wrong village.
While Maya is the victim of the tragedy, Peter and Kira carry the additional burden of their helplessness and the shame of not having been able to do something to spare Maya. Peter fears that the particular culture of this town is to blame, which indicates just how much the town will unravel in the aftermath.
Themes
Community Breakdown and Inequality Theme Icon
Culture, Character, and Entitlement Theme Icon
Parents and Children Theme Icon
Early the next morning, the members of the hockey team march through town as a group, feeling as if they’re under attack and searching for an enemy. Amat doesn’t join them. He just skates furiously around the rink, crashing himself into the boards and waiting until he’s sweating profusely so that no one can tell he’s crying.
Even as the Anderssons search for a way to deal with their grief, the hockey team, too, looks for an outlet; an attack on Kevin is an attack on them. The fact that they just want an enemy shows how the town’s fixation on insiders vs. outsiders will inevitably lead to conflict.
Themes
Culture, Character, and Entitlement Theme Icon
Loyalty and Belonging Theme Icon
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