Study Guide

We Need to Talk About Kevin Chapter 25: March 16, 2001

By Lionel Shriver

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Chapter 25: March 16, 2001

  • Eva is writing about 1998, at the height of the Clinton-Lewinsky scandal.
  • Kevin gets involved in a scandal of his own. He accuses his drama teacher, Vicki Pagorski, of sexually assaulting him.
  • The school is going to have a hearing, but in the meantime, Eva has a parent-teacher meeting with Kevin's English teacher, Dana Rocco.
  • Dana seems smart. She knows Kevin is sharper than he lets on—and that he gets joy out of humiliating people.
  • But Dana realizes that, despite being an ass, Kevin is learning, if only so he can be a superior know-it-all to everyone else.
  • At the hearing, Kevin has to testify about what Miss Pagorski did to him. He says she talked to him about horse genitalia and groped him. But he didn't want her to come onto him, because "she's ugly" (25.118).
  • Eva doesn't believe anything Kevin says about the teacher.
  • Kevin's grungy friend Lenny also testifies, and he uses very coarse language that embarrasses everyone and makes him and Kevin both look like liars.
  • You know the drill by this point: Franklin believes Kevin. Eva doesn't. They fight.
  • But this is a big one. Franklin says he wants to last out the school year, then get a divorce.
  • Eva is devastated. And she sees Kevin in the hallway, eavesdropping.
  • Eva and Franklin try to tell Kevin that it isn't about him, but he knows it is.
  • Eva thinks this is the moment when "he decided" (25.252) to do what he did.
  • Why? Eva thinks it's because if he didn't, Franklin would get custody of him, and despite how nice Kevin acts around him, for Kevin, that would be a fate worse than death.

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