Study Guide

Jacob in The Forest of Hands and Teeth

By Carrie Ryan

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Jacob, like Beth, takes a bit part in the story to highlight one of the main characters. In his case, he's there to shed some light on Cass. Thanks to Harry, little Jacob escapes the zombie attack and joins the crew on their search for the ocean. After being snubbed by both of the men she's loved, Cass eats little Jacob up (not literally—she's not a zombie yet). He becomes her love magnet, and she treats him like her own son. She says, "I only care about Jacob and making sure he has a full life. That he can grow up and find his way in the world. Jacob is like a son to me now and all I have ever wanted was a family" (30.36). Be sure to check out our Character Analysis of Cass for more on that.

Does this bother Jacob? We don't really know. The only time he really shows any personality is when he accidentally starts a fire that burns down their village… yeah, that's a bummer. He feels guilty about it, but for some reason, Mary's story of the ocean dropkicks away the guilt he feels for almost killing his protectors in a fiery inferno. That ocean is mighty powerful, folks.

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