Study Guide

I Am the Cheese Chapter 26

By Robert Cormier

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Chapter 26

  • Adam begins this session by telling Brint about his mother's "Never Knows" (26.1), which she told him about when he came home early from school one day.
  • His mother's fear came from never knowing who was good and who was bad. Although the family had been kept together, she was always wondering what might happen next.
  • Adam's mother was also concerned about the level of control that Mr. Grey (who is given another identification here, government worker #2222) had over their lives. They couldn't even go on vacation without his permission (which he never granted).
  • Of course this made Adam fearful, but with this fear came a greater closeness with his family and more appreciation for what he had in life. (We could all use moments like that, couldn't we?)
  • Adam then tells Brint how he struggled with his identity, especially when his mom showed him a box of things she had kept, memories of their old life. Among them were his father's military jacket and old hat.
  • Amy Hertz came to Adam's house in the middle of all this, and he recalls how he missed spending time with her. His new fears had made him less social.
  • Back in the conversation with Brint, Adam starts having a panic attack. For the first time, he begins to think about his mother and father in the present tense: "Where are they?" (26.42).

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