We have changed our privacy policy. In addition, we use cookies on our website for various purposes. By continuing on our website, you consent to our use of cookies. You can learn about our practices by reading our privacy policy.
© 2016 Shmoop University, Inc. All rights reserved.
I Am the Cheese

I Am the Cheese


by Robert Cormier


Character Analysis

All we know about Martha is that she's Adam's aunt and she's a cloistered nun. The fact that she's a nun explains why Adam's mom was able to speak with her: she was separated enough from society that it wouldn't be a risk. Martha offers some early insight when she speaks about her isolated life as a nun. She says, "It's not simply a place to hide, Louise. You know that. Otherwise, there would be no point in being here, would there?" (13.17). This makes us wonder: is there a point in living if all you're doing is hiding? And on top of that, we sense a chiding, admonishing, and even condescending tone in Martha's voice (how's that for fancy words?). Not even Louise's own sister can understand her situation, which shows us just how desperate it really is.