Beartown

Beartown Chapter 40 Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
Peter comes home from the grocery store and hugs Kira, promising her that he can get a job anywhere—she moved here for him, so he’ll move for her. Kira notices that Peter has taken his keys off the bear-shaped key ring he’s always used.
Although getting rid of the bear keychain is a small gesture, it speaks to something much bigger—Beartown hockey has meant everything to Peter, and he no longer wants to identify himself with it.
Themes
Culture, Character, and Entitlement Theme Icon
Loyalty and Belonging Theme Icon
Resistance and Courage Theme Icon
Ana is at her dad’s house. To her surprise, he knocks on her bedroom door, looking sober and sad. He explains that the hockey club has called a meeting; a group of parents and sponsors are insisting on holding a vote about Peter. They want the club to fire him. Ana is furious—how could people be acting as if Kevin is the victim, and Peter is deliberately trying to bring the club down? The club president rings the Anderssons’ doorbell to report the same news. Maya follows her dad into the hallway and stares the president in the eye.
Thanks to Mr. Erdahl’s efforts to mobilize the town against Peter, Beartown’s issues will come to a head at the upcoming meeting. Maya forces the club president to look at her like she’s a real person—it’s all she can do in this situation.
Themes
Culture, Character, and Entitlement Theme Icon
Parents and Children Theme Icon
Loyalty and Belonging Theme Icon
Resistance and Courage Theme Icon
Maya cries and apologizes for causing Peter all this trouble. He reassures her that it’s not her fault and that, somehow, they’ll get justice. Maya asks if they can go out to the garage and play Nirvana. Kira sits at the kitchen table, playing cards with Leo and listening as Maya plays her guitar, matching Peter’s off-beat drumming so that he won’t feel bad.
The family draws together in light of the crisis, having been effectively isolated by others’ rejection and the town’s vitriol. It’s noteworthy that while they’re technically outsiders at this point, they’re still secure with each other—demonstrating that being an insider in Beartown isn’t necessarily crucial after all.
Themes
Culture, Character, and Entitlement Theme Icon
Parents and Children Theme Icon
Loyalty and Belonging Theme Icon
Ana’s dad wakes her up that night. He’s been asked to hunt down an injured animal in the forest, and he asks if “the second-best hunter in Beartown” wants to join him, as she often did when she was younger. Ana wants to hug him, but she doesn’t.
Just as the Anderssons are bonding over various activities, Ana and her dad, who’ve seldom spoken to each other for a long time, bond over a favorite activity, too.
Themes
Parents and Children Theme Icon
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Benji goes to the bass player’s rehearsal space in Hed. They spend hours singing drinking songs and laughing. They talk about their respective passions, and the bass player asks Benji to teach him how to skate. But when the bass player touches Benji’s hand, Benji gets up and leaves in tears.
Benji finds comfort in hanging out with the bass player, but he’s still frightened by the possibility of the relationship progressing, perhaps because letting it go further would mean carrying the weight of too many secrets at once.
Themes
Loyalty and Belonging Theme Icon
A window breaks in the Anderssons’ house. A rock has been thrown, landing on Maya’s bed. Everyone rushes into Maya’s room to see the rock, which has BITCH written on it in red letters. Before Maya or Peter can react, Kira has run out to the Volvo. Four young teens are walking down the street. Kira’s car flies down the street, smashing into one of the kids’ bikes and sending the rider flying. She grabs a golf club from the trunk and starts toward the terrified boy, but Maya races down the snowy street in her socks and tackles her mother before she can attack. Maya comforts Kira and fondly calls her a “wolf mother.” Peter takes them both home. Though everyone on the street must have witnessed it, nobody ever talks about the incident.
The ostracization of Maya escalates to an act of violence, and Kira almost responds in kind. Maya intervenes before things spiral out of control, with violence sparking more violence. Maya’s whole family is being scapegoated by the town now, as if driving them out will allow the problems to be neatly erased.
Themes
Culture, Character, and Entitlement Theme Icon
Parents and Children Theme Icon
Loyalty and Belonging Theme Icon