All the Bright Places | Study Guide

Jennifer Niven

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Course Hero. "All the Bright Places Study Guide." April 7, 2018. Accessed August 17, 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 17, 2018, https://www.coursehero.com/lit/All-the-Bright-Places/.

All the Bright Places | Part 2, Chapters 43–44 | Summary

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Summary

Part 2, Chapter 43: FINCH Days 66 and 67

Finch discovers that the "Nest Houses" he came to see are gone. Finch remembers the cardinal that died from flying into the glass living room door, and "his little bones in his little grave, and it is the saddest thought in the world." He returns home, goes inside, and stares at himself in the mirror. Finch thinks he "actually disappear[s] before [his] eyes." He goes into his closet, where he tries "not to take up too much space or make any noise" because he is afraid he might "wake up the darkness."

In the morning Finch finds a voicemail for his mother from Mr. Embry asking her to call—and adding, "I'm afraid it's extremely important." Finch deletes it and returns to his closet. After dinner he finds his mother's sleeping pills and swallows "half the contents." As he gets lethargic, he goes to the bathroom and forces himself to vomit them back up. He runs to the ER and tells them he's swallowed the pills and needs the doctors to "get them out." When he is awake again, they give him a form and he lists his name and age as "Josh Raymond, age 17." When the nurses aren't watching, he leaves.

Part 2, Chapter 44: FINCH Day 71

Finch attends a suicide support group in a "nearby Ohio town." He's been avoiding Violet, telling her that he has "some sort of bug." At the Life Is Life meeting, Finch lies about his name again. A late arrival to the group, who is "hatted and scarved and mittened up tightly," turns out to be Amanda Monk. Each person at the meeting takes turns talking about why they're suicidal. Amanda, using the name Rachel, reveals that she's bulimic and has attempted suicide twice. Afterward, Finch tells Amanda he won't tell anyone he saw her there. He asks her if she still thinks about suicide. She admits, "If I didn't, I wouldn't be here." As she leaves, she tells him, "I guess now you know you're not the only freak." Finch thinks, "It's the nicest thing she's ever said to me."

Analysis

There are now three teen characters in the novel with suicidal thoughts. Amanda Monk, like Violet Markey, is one of the popular kids. She has an athlete boyfriend and social status. However, Amanda is also bulimic.

According to the National Eating Disorders Association, Bulimia is a "serious, potentially life-threatening eating disorder characterized by a cycle of bingeing and compensatory behaviors such as self-induced vomiting designed to undo or compensate for the effects of binge eating." Patients with the disorder also struggle with feeling "out of control during the binge-eating episodes." And one of the symptoms is having self-esteem overly related to body image." Furthermore, many patients deal with simultaneous issues with cutting and similar forms of self-harm, substance abuse, and impulsivity, including with risky behaviors.

The reader cannot know how extensive the bulimia is, since Amanda is not a protagonist, and the only information on her bulimia is given in this short conversation with Finch. What the reader knows is that, like Finch and Violet, Amanda struggles with thoughts of suicide. In her case, she's attempted it twice. At this point, readers' concern for the fate of the characters is intense.

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