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I Am the Cheese

I Am the Cheese


by Robert Cormier

I Am the Cheese Theme of Isolation

Feeling alone and being alone are two different things, and in I Am the Cheese, we observe both. Adam feels alone because of deceit – being lied to and having to lie creates a sense of distance between him and everyone around him. Honesty is such a vital part of human connection that, without it, isolation takes over. Unfortunately for Adam, he is also alone in a more physical sense: on his solo bike ride (in his mind), and also in the hospital, where he is an orphan with no friends or family.

Questions About Isolation

  1. Does Adam feel more isolated on his bike ride or in the questioning room? Which of his thoughts and actions support your answer?
  2. Other than Adam, which characters experience isolation in I Am the Cheese? Is it the same kind of isolation Adam experiences?
  3. Which of the many settings in the book best represents the theme of isolation?

Chew on This

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

Adam is not isolated; he is surrounded by people who constantly interact with him and, for the most part, help him out.

Adam enjoys being alone. If he didn't, he wouldn't have taken the solo bike ride.

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