We All Fall Down Summary
by Robert Cormier

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We All Fall Down Summary

(Beacham's Guide to Literature for Young Adults)

In his novel Cormier addresses problems which most of today's teenagers have encountered in one way or another. Vandalism and violence play an important role in everyday life of youth, be it at home, at school, at leisure, or in visual media. Although these problems do not exist for all young people at the same intensity because of different economic and social backgrounds, they nevertheless provide important subjects for analyzing society. In We All Fall Down Cormier dramatizes the issue of vandalism and violence in a well-to-do, upper middle-class neighborhood rather than in an inner-city setting.

His characters are convincing and represent the consciousness of many young adults, thus offering manifold points of association and dissociation for the reader. Cormier again and again leads his reader to the question of why somebody could commit acts of violence, and at the same time provides different motives for such behavior. The spectrum of explanations depicted in the novel is well designed and thought provoking. Cormier draws the reader in by creating a suspenseful plot with several unexpected twists as well as by providing vivid and believable characterization.