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. 16 Nov. 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 November 16, 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 November 16, 2018, https://www.coursehero.com/lit/All-the-Bright-Places/.

All the Bright Places | Part 2, Chapters 40–42 | Summary

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Summary

Part 2, Chapter 40: FINCH Day 64 of the Awake

Finch plays in the snow with his sister Decca, and then they go to their father's house. While there, Finch gets a message from Violet, who is back from New York and offering to sneak out to see him. He lets her know he's at his father's house, and then he goes into Josh Raymond's bedroom. Finch experiences brief feelings of jealousy because his stepbrother (or half brother) has an enormous room and an excess of toys. Among the toys are two stick horses that were once Finch's, and he wants to take them home with him. Finch thinks that he'd "pay attention to them every day." But then he looks at Josh, who is very small, and remembers what it is like "growing up with [Finch's] father." Finch offers Josh the names he had once given the toys—without mentioning to Josh that the stick horses are Finch's. Back downstairs Finch's father tells Finch he can bring Violet over to the house anytime and acts as if nothing happened recently, as though he didn't recently throw Finch across the room at his mom's house. Finch is angry and imagines picking a fight, but he holds his tongue, says goodbye, and walks home.

At home Finch get his car and goes for a drive. For many hours he drives away from Bartlett. On the way back, he feels ill, so he pulls over and gets out to throw up. He doesn't throw up after all but begins to run on an empty stretch of road instead. He runs and runs until he is completely surrounded by farms. He sees a bunch of large greenhouses and decides to knock on the door of a white farmhouse next to one of the greenhouses. An elderly woman opens the door, and Finch explains to her—her name is Margaret Ann—and then to her husband, Henry, that he is having "an emergency." He explains that his girlfriend, Violet, who is named for a flower, needs to know he's "thinking of her and that this isn't a season of death but one of living," and that her father hates him. Finch gets a large bouquet of flowers. Henry drives Finch back to his car. "Six miles," Henry says to Finch, "Son, you ran all that way?"

A little later, while Finch is sitting in his car outside Violet's house, she happens to text him, asking, "When will I see you?" He tells her to come outside. Then she's outside, and he gives her the flowers as snow falls.

Part 2, Chapter 41: FINCH Days 65 and 66

Finch is struggling at school. He catches himself every period staring out the window and unsure of how long he has been doing so. He hears his classmates reading aloud in English but he forgets the words "as soon as they're said. [He hears] fragments of things but nothing whole." He goes to the bell tower—which is unlocked—to read. His day continues like this, including in U.S. Geography with Violet.

He is late to his meeting with Mr. Embry, who asks, "What's going on with you, Finch?" Finch talks about his father, and Mr. Embry eventually responds, "I thought your father died in a hunting accident." The conversation veers into Finch accidentally reciting aloud a suicide note by a Russian poet—Finch thinks he is just thinking the words but he says them aloud. Mr. Embry brings up bipolar disorder, pointing out that it "causes extreme shifts in mood and energy. It runs in families, but it can be treated." Finch has a complicated emotional reaction to this, both because it's a "label" that is given to "crazy people" and because it describes his father. Finch stands too abruptly, and the desk goes flying. Finch realizes it could seem like he is being aggressive, so he holds out his hands in surrender. Mr. Embry takes them and pulls him closer to say, "You are not alone." He adds, "And we are not done discussing this."

The next day Finch sees Roamer, who calls Finch "freak." Finch loses his temper and attacks him. It takes four people to pry Finch off Roamer, and Finch walks out saying, "You will never call me that again."

Part 2, Chapter 42: VIOLET March 10

Finch calls Violet, telling her he's outside by the river. He's speaking rapidly. He tells her, among other things, that he's been expelled. He asks her to go with him, to a nest house, which is a four-hour drive from Bartlett. She asks him to wait for her after school, and he gets upset, saying, "Why don't we just forget it?" and similar things. He hangs up on her.

Analysis

Reexamining the list of traits of a manic episode, a reader will see that Finch is demonstrating all of them, from his increased energy to his exaggerated sense of well-being to his unusual talkativeness.

He has made decisions that result in his expulsion, and his rate of speech has become rapid to the point of lost focus. His thoughts are equally unfocused, both distracted and racing—to the point that Violet notices them.

This agitation also leads to his plan to go to the "Nest Houses" and a shortness of temper with Violet. Further, his agitation leads to standing so abruptly that he upsets Mr. Embry. When Finch realizes it, he attempts to make peace. Finch is coherent enough to realize that Mr. Embry has a point, and the author cues the reader to see that Finch's father also has many of these traits. Finch (and the reader) sees that the bipolar disorder Finch is struggling with is what his father has struggled with in his life. Finch also realizes that diagnosis for him would lead to more conflict with his father. This level of clarity during mania is still not enough for him to accept help.

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