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I Am the Cheese

I Am the Cheese


by Robert Cormier

I Am the Cheese Theme of Fear

Adam is afraid of everything, it seems. Open spaces, closed spaces. Dogs, teenage boys. Being alone, being followed. But the important question isn't what does someone fear but why do they fear it? We learn throughout I Am the Cheese that Adam has reason to fear everything around him: since his family is in hiding, they never know whom or what to trust. Every knock on the door is frightening. Sounds like a horror movie, right?

Questions About Fear

  1. Are there any instances in the book in which Adam seems particularly brave?
  2. What would you say is Adam's biggest fear?   
  3. Who does Adam think is following him on his bike ride? Is there any way to know?
  4. Are Adam's parents equally fearful?
  5. List all of Adam's fears that you can think of. Does he have a logical reason behind each of his fears or not?

Chew on This

Try on an opinion or two, start a debate, or play the devil’s advocate.

For Adam, the unknown is more frightening than the known.

If Amy were in Adam's situation, she wouldn't be as afraid.

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