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I Am the Cheese

I Am the Cheese

by Robert Cormier

Suffering Theme

Adam suffers in many different ways throughout <em>I Am the Cheese</em>. Although he undergoes physical pain, in the form of headaches, nausea, and even a major head injury, it's the emotional suffering that sticks out to us. After all, emotional suffering is usually more enduring, and it doesn't go away quite as easily. Adam's constant anxiety, coupled with the discovery of his traumatic past and the eventual loss of his parents, leads to a kind of everyday suffering that most of us are lucky enough never to experience.

Questions About Suffering

  1. Which does Adam notice more, his physical or his emotional suffering?
  2. If Adam had taken his pills, do you think he would have suffered less on his bike ride?
  3. Other than Adam, which character suffers the most in this book? How does his or her suffering relate to Adam's?      
  4. When is Adam in the most pain, either physically or mentally?

Chew on This

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

Adam's bike ride is a conscious attempt to escape the suffering of his real life.

Adam's suffering makes him stronger.

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