All the Bright Places | Study Guide

Jennifer Niven

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All the Bright Places | Part 3, Chapters 54–55 | Summary



Part 3, Chapter 54: VIOLET May 3

Violet prepares for Finch's funeral. Her parents want to go with her, but she has refused them. Violet notes that they are no longer angry with her "because they're furious with Mrs. Finch, and probably Finch too." At the funeral "everyone is weeping." Violet notes that people like Amanda Monk and Gabe Romero are there, as well as the principal, Mr. Black, and both Mrs. Kresney and Mr. Embry. Charlie Donahue, Brenda Shank-Kravitz, and of course Finch's family are there. At the end Mr. and Mrs. Finch both hug her. Violet's father pulls her away and says, "I think we'll take her home."

Over dinner her parents talk "in controlled, even voices." Afterward she goes upstairs and sees her calendar with days not marked off "because these were days [she] had with Finch." The chapter closes with a list of questions and statements to Finch.

Part 3, Chapter 55: VIOLET May—weeks 1, 2, and 3

There is "a shrine to Finch" in one of the large glass cases" in the school. People are able to leave notes there. Violet Markey thinks she wants to destroy them and "put them in the pile with the rest of the bad, false words, because that's exactly where they belong." Violet tells Ryan Cross they can only be friends. Amanda Monk breaks up with Gabe Romero.

Anyone at school who was Finch's classmate or friend must see a counselor. Violet sees Mr. Embry, who in conversation tells her, "I feel responsible." Violet reacts strongly, feeling like she is at fault, but doesn't say anything. Mr. Embry continues to speak, adding, "But I'm not." He goes on to explain that she might be feeling these things, too. They talk more, and he gives her a booklet called SOS: A Handbook for Survivors of Suicide to read. Later, at home, she reads the whole booklet. She then shares it with her mother, who reads it during dinner while Violet and her dad talk about college. Mr. James Markey asks Violet if she's considered "applying to NYU for spring admission." She likes the idea and goes to work on her application.

There is a school assembly, which includes a martial arts expert who talks about self-defense, and a film on drugs. Charlie tells Violet this is because "there's a rumor going around that Finch was on something." Violet leaves the auditorium and vomits in a trashcan. Amanda is outside, and Violet asks her questions about what it feels like to be suicidal.

The following day in U.S. Geography, Mr. Black pulls Violet aside and says he understands if "there are extenuating ... circumstances." She rejects this and decides she can do the assignment. At home she writes a letter to Finch and then looks for the map. When she finds it, she sees five more places—all numbered by Finch—and decides to go and visit them, to wander on her own.


Violet Markey has now lost a second person in her life. Despite the school's insistence on making at-school counseling available to the students, it is questionable whether this is enough of a support structure for her.

Perhaps the expectation is that because Violet accepts that Finch had an undiagnosed and untreated mental disorder, she would not struggle with his death as she did with her sister Eleanor's. The conclusion that bipolar disorder can lead to suicide is not a stretch; statistically, 90% of the 40,000 people who commit suicide annually in the United States have mental disorders. Violet, however, doesn't have this information. She's a teen who has read a 36-page pamphlet and spoken to a school counselor for perhaps an hour.

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