We All Fall Down

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General outline for any essay question: Themes, Characters, and Techniques Robert Cormier’s ‘We All Fall Down’ explores the April Fool’s Day trashing of the Jerome’s house that leaves the youngest daughter Karen in a coma, the house a physical disaster, and an emotional state for Jane and her family. The trashers are four average high schoolers led by the domineering Harry Flowers. Harry manipulated the group and takes advantage of Buddy’s state of mind. ‘The Avenger’ an 11 year old boy witnesses it all, but remains an unknown character until the conclusion. The book focuses separately on the trashers, the Jerome family and the Avenger, as they unknowingly interact and come together at the stories end. The title ‘We All Fall Down’ suggest that in some part of our lives we are capable of falling down emotionally, morally or physically. The novel addresses many themes that are important in today’s society, such as Teenage Alcoholism, Power and Friendship. These themes are shown through techniques such as symbolism, conflict (character Vs character) and narrative perspective’s. Teenage drinking is an important issue in every community and with the ever-changing adolescent population, Cormier has addressed this theme and issue through one of the main characters, Buddy Walker. Impelled by quilt, his parents divorce and by the urging of an immoral classmate (Harry Flowers), Buddy is rapidly becoming an alcoholic. Buddy finds that he needs the liquor to provide his needs, comfort and to escape from reality. ‘Buddy discovered the marvellous methods of booze, the way it soothed and stoked, made hazy the harshness of thing and made him almost – happy’. The technique to show Buddy’s alcoholism is the symbol of his bottle of gin. Cormier uses Buddy’s bottle of gin as a symbol for what Buddy’s life has become and the need to turn back to it everytime he is down. This is
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