All the Bright Places | Study Guide

Jennifer Niven

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Course Hero. "All the Bright Places Study Guide." Course Hero. 7 Apr. 2018. Web. 21 Aug. 2018. <https://www.coursehero.com/lit/All-the-Bright-Places/>.

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Course Hero. (2018, April 7). All the Bright Places Study Guide. In Course Hero. Retrieved August 21, 2018, from https://www.coursehero.com/lit/All-the-Bright-Places/

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Course Hero. "All the Bright Places Study Guide." April 7, 2018. Accessed August 21, 2018. https://www.coursehero.com/lit/All-the-Bright-Places/.

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Course Hero, "All the Bright Places Study Guide," April 7, 2018, accessed August 21, 2018, https://www.coursehero.com/lit/All-the-Bright-Places/.

All the Bright Places | Part 1, Chapters 7–9 | Summary

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Summary

Part 1, Chapter 7: VIOLET 152 days till graduation

Sunday morning. Violet Markey receives an e-mail notifying her that the domain name for the site she shared with her sister, Eleanor Markey, is expiring. Violet thinks about how she wanted to do something different with the site than what Eleanor wanted to do, but that Eleanor "usually got her way." After thinking about it, Violet deletes a file of story ideas she and Eleanor had, and she deletes the e-mail warning her that the domain name is about to expire. Then she empties the digital trash so "the email is as dead and gone as Eleanor."

Part 1, Chapter 8: FINCH Day 8 of the Awake

Theodore Finch and his siblings, Kate Finch and Decca Finch, go to see their father, Mr. Ted Finch, stepmother (Rosemarie Finch), and stepbrother (Josh Raymond). Finch stokes animosity with his father, declaring at the dinner table that he is now a vegetarian and lying that he was away figure skating recently. (His father is a former hockey player.) On the way back to their mom's house, Finch and Kate discuss the "pretending" these Sunday dinners require, and Finch asks what she knows about Violet's dead sister, Eleanor Markey.

Alone in his room, Finch writes about suicide by poison, throws away his cigarettes, and then checks Facebook. He reads Violet Markey's page, where there are comments on a post about her "saving" him. He sends an excerpt of Virginia Woolf's suicide note in a private message to Violet. Later, Violet quotes Woolf back to him. Finch gets turned on quoting back and forth with Violet. Suddenly, Violet replies to his "rules for wandering," adding her own: no travel in bad weather, and no driving. Finch ponders the feelings Violet is stirring up in him, not sure if they have anything in common or if his interest is because she is the "first person [he's] met who seem to speak [his] language."

Part 1, Chapter 9: VIOLET 151 days till graduation

In school on Monday, Violet Markey finds that the school is buzzing with talk of the story in the "school gossip rag," the Bartlett Dirt. The title of the story is "Senior Hero Saves Crazy Classmate from Bell Tower Jump." There are pictures of Violet and Theodore Finch, but their names aren't mentioned. Violet skips class and picks the lock to the bell tower, where she sits on the stairs and reads two chapters of Wuthering Heights. Finishing the chapter, Violet considers one of the most famous quotes from Wuthering Heights: "If all else perished, and he remained, I should still continue to be; and If all else remained, and he were annihilated, the universe would turn to a mighty stranger."

Analysis

Readers may find themselves struggling with Theodore Finch's seemingly melodramatic interest in suicide, as well as with Violet Markey's references to English novelist Emily Brontë's Wuthering Heights (1847) in this chapter. (The British novel, Wuthering Heights, depicts an intense relationship between two characters that results in tragedy and death.) The struggle to reconcile the romance of the two characters with the serious topics of suicide, death, depression, and bipolar disorder is not atypical. It follows the striking success of such young adult novels as Thirteen Reasons Why (2007) by Jay Asher, which delves into the factors contributing to a teenage girl's suicide, and The Fault in Our Stars (2012) by John Green, about the romance between two dying teenagers. The value of such teen fiction, particularly in the wake of the dramatic increase in adult consumption of such books, has been a topic of consideration for several years.

An article in Slate called "Against YA," published several months prior to All the Bright Places's release, addresses the relative merits of contemporary teen fiction like Niven's novel. The article's author, Ruth Graham, refers to a market research survey as she writes, "The largest group of buyers in that survey—accounting for a whopping 28 percent of all YA sales—are between ages 30 and 44." The article specifically notes that the consideration of YA fiction in this assessment is not about the "transparently trashy stuff." It's novels like Niven's, about "real teens doing real things," that she is considering. And the problem with them, according to Graham, is that the novels don't present the "emotional and moral ambiguity" of adult fiction.

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