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Character Analysis

To Above... and Beyond!

Aside from our buddy Bob (check out his "Character Analysis"), Chloe is the only support group member who has both a name and a personality. And get this—she's a woman. We meet her as a member of Above and Beyond, the brain parasites support group, and she's the first character in the book to bite the dust.

Described as "the way Joni Mitchell's skeleton would look if you made it smile and walk around a party being extra special nice to everyone" (4.20), Chloe is one of those characters that treads the fine line between joke and pity. Sure, the description of Chloe is humorous and deprecating, but we're pretty sure it's not meant to be demeaning.

When Chloe dies, the narrator sure is excited. He doesn't really buy into the whole "emotional intimacy" part of support group, and the fact that she "no longer had any fear of death" (4.10) barely registers. Our narrator instead focuses on "the proof that one day you're thinking and hauling yourself around, and the next, you're cold fertilizer, worm buffet. This is the amazing miracle of death" (4.12). Is that supposed to be uplifting?

If Chloe can teach us anything, it's that our narrator loves to objectify people—not just in death, but in life too.

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