It's Kind of a Funny Story Part 4 Summary and Analysis
by Ned Vizzini

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Part 4 Summary and Analysis

Chapter 17

Craig arrives at the hospital emergency room at 5:30 a.m. The first nurse he speaks to explains to him that he should not have stopped taking Zoloft. She tells him to think about how he feels now so that he will remember this feeling the next time he is tempted to stop taking his medication. The nurse takes Craig to wait for a doctor in Room 22.

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Craig watches other patients in the hospital. A police officer named Chris sits in front of Craig’s room and begins reading a newspaper. Craig lies down on the stretcher and tries to sleep, but he can’t fall asleep with all the sounds of the hospital around him.

A doctor named Dr. Data comes to Craig’s room. Dr. Data explains that she is going to refer him to Dr. Mahmoud, one of their “best psychologists.” Craig hopes that Dr. Mahmoud will have “the kind of trick” that will trigger the Shift he needs. Dr. Data explains that Craig needs to inform his parents and have them come to the hospital to sign the required forms. Craig leaves his room to use a hospital phone to call his parents. The police officer, Chris, follows him, and Craig realizes that he is under suicide watch.

Chapter 18

Craig calls his mother from the hospital. He explains that he has checked himself into the hospital because of a desire to kill himself. Craig’s mother tells him that going to the hospital “is the bravest thing [he’s] ever done” and that she is proud of him. When their conversation ends, Craig feels that his mother is happier about his going to the hospital than his acceptance to Executive Pre-Professional.

Craig watches another patient, whom he suspects might be a heroin addict. Craig wonders if heroin would help his depression but then decides that being “a depressed teenager on heroin” would be a cliché.

Craig is disgusted by the hospital breakfast but forces himself to eat some of it. Dr. Data returns with forms and also gives forms to “Jimmy,” the patient in the room beside Craig. The reality of being in the hospital begins to sink in for Craig, and he remembers plans he had to go to a party that evening. His mental “Cycling” begins. Craig gets up to use the washroom. He decides to stand—rather than sit—while he urinates.

A nurse comes and takes Craig’s heart rate. Dr. Mahmoud arrives, followed by Craig’s mother, who is carrying a duffel bag and their dog Jordan. Craig agrees to be admitted to the hospital, which he thinks will be “a quick visit” to speak with Dr. Mahmoud. Dr. Mahmoud explains that Craig will be admitted with the adults, as the hospital is undergoing renovations. Craig’s mother signs the necessary forms and leaves.

An attendant, Smitty, escorts Craig to “Six North”—the adult psychiatric floor. When they arrive on the floor, Craig sees a man with “bugged-out eyes” who is looking at him “like [he] just popped out of a manhole and offered him valuable paper clips from the moon.” Seeing this man, Craig realizes that he is “in the mental...

(The entire section is 809 words.)