Columbine

Columbine

by

Dave Cullen

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Columbine: Chapter 25 Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
Eric and Dylan presumably met in middle school, though they did not really connect there. Brooks Brown, Dylan’s childhood friend, met Eric during their freshman year at Columbine, and soon “all three” boys were close friends. They played video games together, attended football games together, and shared interests in classical philosophy and Renaissance literature.
Dave Cullen now goes back and traces the roots of Eric and Dylan’s destructive friendship. The boys did not click immediately, but were hanging out together by the end of their freshman year of high school.
Themes
Memory, Bearing Witness, Trauma, and Testimony Theme Icon
In an “I Am” poem, a class assignment from his freshman year, Eric described “five times in eighteen lines how nice he was.” He described dreaming of himself as “the last person on earth,” and frequently shared similar fantasies in Internet chat rooms and journals. He wished for, and was obsessed by, the “extinction” of the human race.
Eric was intensely egotistical as early as ninth grade. He also already wished for death and destruction even this early in life, and sought to discuss those wishes publicly on the internet.
Themes
Violence and Spectacle Theme Icon
Zack Heckler and Dylan shared one class their freshman year, but became fast friends. Zack, Dylan, and Eric all became a group soon enough, and would play video games together. On his own, Eric played the video game Doom obsessively and drew his own characters and worlds into his journal. He hacked the software to bring them to life, and believed he had “dominated and mastered Doom creativity.” In a freshman-year English paper called “Similarities Between Zeus and I,” Eric described himself as a tireless creator who, similar to Zeus, enjoyed “punish[ing] people in unusual ways.”
Eric develops a friend group with Dylan and Zack, but is most comfortable on his own. His rich fantasy life—which is full of violence, hatred, and delusions of grandeur—occasionally bleeds into his real life and his schoolwork, but those around him seem not to notice his troublesome behavior, or take it very seriously.
Themes
Violence and Spectacle Theme Icon