Study Guide

Alex Cross's Trial Change

By James Patterson and Richard DiLallo

Change

As you've probably noticed, change is inevitable in life. Still, sometimes we resist change because we like things the way they are, and we're afraid of what might happen if we shake things up. That's exactly what many in Eudora are afraid of in Alex Cross's Trial—and precisely what's necessary for their town.

In a town governed by racism, many white citizens want to keep on keeping on, with Black people working themselves to the bone and being denied all kinds of fair treatment. Thing is, change is needed for everyone. It isn't just Black people who are suffering from the violence and chaos that constantly erupts in Eudora. But just because change is necessary doesn't mean it doesn't have a price. But hey, change is rarely easy.

Questions About Change

  1. Abraham claims that blood in the streets is a sign of change. Do you think this is true in the novel? Why or why not? Give evidence from the text to back your answer.
  2. Why is change so difficult to come by in Eudora? Aside from racism, what contributes to people's attitudes toward change? Work with specific examples, please.
  3. What makes Ben so invested in changing a town he no longer lives in? Do you think he would go to Eudora without the President's directive? Why or why not?
  4. Is President Roosevelt genuinely interested in change or just trying to save face? How does his passivity impact your understanding of his attitude toward change?

Chew on This

Regardless of Ben's hard work, nothing really changes in the book. The white citizens of Eudora are just as racist at the end as they are when the book begins.

Even though Ben loses the trial, his hard work is the beginning of change in Eudora. His fight sparks a defiant attitude in citizens who have long desired equality.

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