Study Guide

A Million Little Pieces Violence

By James Frey

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Rehabs are supposed to be peaceful and tranquil. Look one up online, and you'll probably find a place where it's supposed to be springtime all the time, where all the facilities are bathed in the perpetual orange glow of a calming sunset.

In A Million Little Pieces, James Frey wants you to know that this is not the case... and mainly because of angry jerks like him. As he deals with rehab, he gets angry. He's unable to control his urges, which he calls the Fury inside of him. He starts fights, he hurts himself, and he generally wreaks havoc whenever he feels like it.

If we ever have to go to rehab (or pretty much anywhere else), we hope we're lucky enough to go somewhere James is not.

Questions About Violence

  1. What is the source of the Fury? Is it out of James's control, as he says it is?
  2. What most often triggers the Fury?
  3. What other acts of violence does James see while in rehab?
  4. James seems to suggest that people, especially men, going through rehab are naturally predisposed to violence. Do you agree?

Chew on This

James experiences his Fury whenever something happens that is out of his control. He thinks he can Hulk smash things to get his way. (Hey, it's always worked with his parents.)

James's need to prove his masculinity contributes to the Fury. He equates masculinity with violence, and he's determined to always be the Big Man at rehab.

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