The 57 Bus

The 57 Bus

by

Dashka Slater

Teachers and parents! Struggling with distance learning? Our Teacher Edition on The 57 Bus can help.

The 57 Bus: Part 3: The Interview, Part 2 Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
“What do you think about dudes who dress up in skirts?” one of the officers asks Richard. “I’m not with that,” Richard says. “I wouldn’t say that I hate gay people, but I’m very homophobic.” The cops nod. “Cross-dressing and like—some people,” Richard continues, “like they try to make everybody know that they are that and they try to do too much and—it’s just a lot.”
Richard assumes that Sasha’s skirt means that they are homosexual, and this reflects the common misconception that gender and sexuality are one and the same. Additionally, Richard’s words highlight the widespread bias directed toward the LGBTQ community within American society.
Themes
Gender and Sexuality Theme Icon
Discrimination and Social Justice Theme Icon
The police tell Richard that they have a video from the bus. “You’re not a bad kid,” one of the officers says. “Keeping in mind that you know we have video, and the video shows everything that happened on that bus,” he continues, “right now is a time in your life when you’ve got to decide, am I going to take responsibility for my actions? Am I going to be honest?” Richard looks at the officer and asks to see the video.
Richard does take responsibility for his actions, this is evident in the letters he writes Sasha in the days just after the attack, but if he verbalizes this to the police it will only incriminate him further. This dilemma emphasizes just one of the problems present within the justice system—if Richard takes responsibility it will make him appear guilty.
Themes
Accountability, Redemption, and Forgiveness Theme Icon