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Andy's internal conflict is guilt. He was the cause of Robbie's death. He lived and Rob died. He feels that Rob had more potential on the basketball court and in the classroom than he did and that he should have been the one who died. He also doesn't feel that the punishment is enough. He says "I ended up gettin' my license revoked until I'm twenty-one and a two year suspended sentence. Even I thought it was a real easy sentence, maybe too easy..... Shouldn't I have been sent to jail or somethin'?" (pg 27) Andy is consumed with guilt, and it leads to his final decision to take his own life.
Andy's external conflicts are many. He has a conflict with his parents. They just want him to get passed this episode in his life and move on. He can't do that. He has a conflict with his father because he feels that his father is not acting as a black man but as a black man trying to be white. His father feels that he has done the best he could in the society in which he was raised. Andy has a conflict with his mother because he sees her as a social climber who doesn't have any time for her family and is unaware of what is going on with him. He feels that Rob's parents know more about him than she does. He emphasizes that when he tells her the story of the time he almost died at the beach. Andy has a conflict with the kids at school because some of them blame him for Rob's death. His true friends understand or, at least, try to understand. He tells the psychologist of the notes taped to his locker that said "Killer" and the fact that some of the kids can't look him in the face. (pg 44) He has a conflict with his teachers because they want him to move on and do well in his studies so that he can succeed in college. He doesn't care about that. They are looking to the future, and he cannot see any future. He even tells that to Keisha. He has a conflict with Keisha because she wants him to move on, and he just cries and moans about Rob. She writes in her diary, "I am tired of all this depressing stuff. I miss Robbie too, but Andy can't seem to get over it, and I'm the only one who knows it."
After Andy commits suicide, his friends react with anger. BJ says "Robbie's death was an accident, but what you did --- it just don't make no sense to me. " (pg 172)
Gerald said, "You are a coward and a sellout.....You deserted your friends and family, the people who love you the most. .... Brave men face their problems." (pg 173)
Rhonda asks, "What were you thinking? Who did you think would find you?" (pg 174) She was there when his mother found Andy's body.
Keisha wrote, " Nobody understands why you decided to end your life when you had so much to live for. So you're out of it and we have to stay here, feeling your pain as well as our own. It really isn't fair, you know." (pg 176)
The page numbers are for my edition of the book, but they should be close, and the last ones are at the end of the book when the students write letters to Andy.
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