Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda

by

Becky Albertalli

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Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda: Chapter 35 Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
Nick and Simon arrive for the school talent show just as the lights are going down. They find Bram and Garrett in the back and sit with them. When the lights go out completely, Simon takes Bram's hand. The talent show comprises mostly of girls singing Adele songs, and then Abby dances alone with a violin accompanist. She dances beautifully, and then the curtains close for the last act to set up. Nick checks the program and discovers the last band is called Emoji. The curtain opens to five girls on instruments. Simon is shocked—the drummer is Leah, the singer is Taylor, and Nora is playing lead guitar.
When Simon is surprised to see Leah, Taylor, and Nora in the band, it indicates again that he's spent much of his life making assumptions about people, just as others have done to him. This revelation means that as he continues to come of age, Simon will have to continually check himself when he makes assumptions. In doing so, he'll hopefully be able to form better and more fulfilling relationships with his friends and family.
Themes
Identity and Assumptions Theme Icon
Relationships and Empathy Theme Icon
Family, Change, and Growing Up Theme Icon
Emoji's music is electric, and girls dance in the aisles. Simon thinks that Bram was right that people are like houses, with big rooms and small windows. Nick admits that he's been secretly working with Nora on the guitar for a few months now. She apparently asked that he keep it a secret so the Spiers wouldn't make a big deal out of it. Nick also explains that he got Simon's family to come to the show, even Alice. After the band finishes, a guy with a beard slides into the seats in front of Simon. He introduces himself as Theo and says he has a message from Alice: Simon and Bram are to refuse Mom and Dad's offer of dinner out, and they should go home to do homework—which translates to two hours of unsupervised time at home.
When Nick tells Simon that Nora wanted to keep her involvement in the band a secret, it again shows that all of the Spier children feel forced into secrecy about their changing interests because of their parents' habit of making things seem far more significant than they really are. This again makes the case that Simon's family will have to continue to evolve to make everyone, including Nora, feel safer voicing these changes to her family.
Themes
Identity and Assumptions Theme Icon
Family, Change, and Growing Up Theme Icon
Bram looks mischievous and says he's in as he heads to the atrium with Simon. Simon goes straight to Alice, who admits she's been stalking Bram on Facebook for weeks. The girls of Emoji come out from backstage, and Nora flings herself at Alice for a hug. Mom and Dad give her a bouquet, and they all join one huge group with Bram, Abby, and Theo. Leah admits to Simon that she's been teaching herself drums for two years. When Mom and Dad suggest dinner out, Simon insists he has to catch up on homework.
Leah's admission that she's spent two years teaching herself to play drums is something else that comes across as a coming out moment; like Simon's sexuality, it's something she's been hiding for a while. Now that it's common knowledge, it leaves room for Simon and Leah to repair their friendship and use the new information they have about each other to make it even stronger.
Themes
Identity and Assumptions Theme Icon
Alice tells Simon to keep his phone on so she can text when they're on their way home, and then Simon follows Bram to his car. They don't hold hands, as it feels too public for Georgia. As Simon goes to the passenger side, the car next to him turns on. Martin is inside. Simon just looks at him and thinks that he hasn't replied to Martin’s email yet. Simon gets into Bram's car and watches Martin back out, and then he and Bram decide to go to Simon's house.
Simon's inclusion of "yet" when he talks about not replying to Martin's email suggests that the two may actually have a chance at repairing their relationship. However, now that Simon is in control of whether or when he replies, he's able to feel far more confident in whatever he chooses to do about Martin.
Themes
Agency and Control Theme Icon
Relationships and Empathy Theme Icon
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Simon feels as though he's seeing his house for the first time when Bram walks in. Bram greets Bieber and looks at family photos on the way up to Simon's room. Simon apologizes for his mess and tells Bram that he usually emails him from the bed. They sit there, side by side, and start kissing. As they lie down, Simon suggests they do nothing but kiss. Bram says he would like to see a movie. Simon finds himself thinking about Bram's mom's talk about safe sex, and thinks her talk might apply to him someday. Bram returns to the subject of seeing a movie, and they lie together until Alice texts.
The sense that he's seeing the house for the first time with Bram speaks to the power of another person to change one's perspective: because Simon and Bram are beginning to get closer to each other and see how the other person sees the world, they're each getting a new view of their own worlds. This shows that learning to recognize others isn't just about making others feel good; it also widens one's own worldview.
Themes
Identity and Assumptions Theme Icon
Relationships and Empathy Theme Icon
Family, Change, and Growing Up Theme Icon
Bram and Simon are seated in the living room with textbooks by the time Mom and Dad get home. Mom looks slightly disapproving that the boys were home alone, and Simon knows that they'll have some big discussion about ground rules soon. He thinks it's okay that this is a big deal.
When Simon decides that it's not so bad if he and Mom have to have this conversation, it represents a shift to seeing his sexuality and his life as something that should be important, rather than something that should be hidden.
Themes
Identity and Assumptions Theme Icon
Family, Change, and Growing Up Theme Icon