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I Am the Cheese

I Am the Cheese

by Robert Cormier

Fear Quotes

How we cite our quotes:

Quote #1

I look over my shoulder but there's no one following. (1.3)

Adam repeats this phrase quite a bit throughout the book. That kind of repetition never happens unless there's a reason (or unless the publisher just hires really bad editors). The first time we read it, it almost sounds like he's being paranoid, right? Why would someone be following a teenage boy who's carrying nothing but a tiny package? But as the story progresses, we realize that it's not paranoia; it's real, justified fear.

Quote #2

Like, is it possible to be claustrophobic and yet fear open spaces, too? (1.4)

Apparently so. We see Adam's agoraphobia when he's out in the open spaces of New England, alone on his bike. His claustrophobia comes up when, for instance, he's in a phone booth. Which does Adam fear more?

Quote #3

There is no lock and I can't risk leaving it unguarded because somebody might steal it and I would be marooned here if that happened. (9.3)

One of Adam's less emotional fears is that someone will steal his bike. Only at the end do we find out that this has happened multiple times before. Many of Adam's fears are based on traumatic experiences from his past; can you think of others?

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