Don’t Call Me Ishmael

by

Michael Gerard Bauer

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Don’t Call Me Ishmael: Chapter 31 Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
The next thing Ishmael knows, his body turns to rubber and he’s falling toward Kelly Faulkner. He comes to in another room, dizzy and surrounded by concerned people. Razza’s mom promises to explain things to Mom and Dad, so when Ishmael gets home, he goes straight to his room. Mom and Dad, of course, later tell Ishmael they’re proud of him—and if someone’s going to fall out of your pants, it might as well be a Beatle (though Dad would choose any Beatle but Ringo). This doesn’t make Ishmael feel better. Prue later suggests it would’ve been better had Sigmund Freud fallen out of Ishmael’s pants, because then it would’ve been a “Freudian slip.” Ishmael doesn’t know what this means. He goes to bed and hopes it was all just a dream. Unfortunately, it wasn’t.
To everyone but Ishmael, what happened was hilarious. Ringo Starr has the reputation of being the least attractive and least successful Beatle, which makes it seem fitting that he’s the one who fell out of Ishmael’s pants. Prue, meanwhile, tries to make a sexual joke. A Freudian slip is just misspeaking, but because much of Freud’s work was about sex, it’s often thought of as having sexual connotations. So having Freud come out of Ishmael’s pant leg would be a literal Freudian slip. But not knowing what a Freudian slip is just makes Ishmael feel even worse about the situation.
Themes
Identity and Coming of Age Theme Icon
The Power of Language Theme Icon