© 2014 Shmoop University, Inc. All rights reserved.
 

Themes

Sutter is terrified of growing up. Not even of getting old, which, dude, we feel you—he's freaked out by the thought of entering the adult world. So, he does everything he can to prevent it. He parties hard, ignores his future, and obsesses about living in the now. And we can't quite blame him. Literally the only adult he has to look up to is his boss at the suit store, and he's a major exception. In The Spectacular Now, adult life is nothing but hypocrisy, abuse, and misery.

Questions About Youth

  1. Why doesn't Sutter believe he could grow up to be an adult like Bob? Why can't he foresee a responsible adulthood for himself?
  2. What does Sutter think is worse: to be an adult like his mom, or an adult like his dad?
  3. What exactly about maturity scares Sutter? And what's so great about being a teenager?

Chew on This

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

By not showing us any admirable adults, The Spectacular Now glamorizes youth just as much as Sutter does.

Sutter realizes that his dad's immaturity is pathetic but doesn't see that he's pathetic as well.

Advertisement
Advertisement
back to top