Every organization has its rules. You don't run in the halls
at school. You don't talk in the elevator if you work at Goldman Sachs.
And if you're in rehab, well, there's a whole long list of things not to do and
not do: follow the Twelve Steps, don't do drugs, don't interact with members of
the opposite sex…
In A Million
Little Pieces, James Frey, being the contrarian that he is, tends to break most
of the rules—except, strangely, the easiest rule for a drug user to break: the
one that says don't
relapse. If we had to assign the role of antagonist to someone
in this book, it wouldn't go to a person; it would go to The Rules.
Questions About Rules and Order
What are some of the rules of the clinic? Do you think all of the rules are reasonable?
Which rules does James break? Why does he break them?
Do the other patients have a difficult time following the rules?
Do the counselors and psychologists do an adequate job of enforcing the rules? Do they break any rules on their own?
Chew on This
James has never done well with structure. He never followed
his parents' rules, so it's unsurprising that he breaks the rules set by the clinic,
Some of the rules do James good. Despite the incident with
Roy, having a job on the job board gives James's life in rehab a nice sense of