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CHAPTER SUMMARIES WITH NOTES
Adam is riding on a long and quiet road. He thinks of Amy and how he will call her next time he sees a phone, before he eats or anything else. Amy is more important to him than food.
A car approaches Adam and nearly knocks him off his bike. It is a pink car occupied by the trouble-makers. The boys torment him for a while, until they actually knock him off the bike into a ravine.
The boys in this chapter are similar to the dog that previously haunted Adam. They are each retarding forces. A retarding force is something that acts as an obstacle for the protagonist of achieving his or her goal. In this case Adamís goal is to reach his father. The boys and the dog are symbolic of obstacles that he must first over come.
The boys drive a pink car. Pink is associated with the female. Essentially, the boys are acting effeminately by fighting Adam with their car. Although Adam is defeated, it is the boys who are acting cowardly.
CHAPTERS 19 and 20
These chapters are simply Brint talking to Adam and Adam not responding. He asks Adam why he will not sleep or get out of bed or eat. Adam does not respond. Brint tells him to take medicine or at least eat.
In chapter 20 it appears that Adam has at least begun to eat.
As in the previous chapter (18), Adam appears defeated.
An old man stops and wakes Adam from his sleep, induced by the fall. He makes sure he is all right and offers him a ride in his station wagon with his wife to Hookset, which is only a mile or two from Belton Falls (the place where he and his family used to stay in a hotel).
The old man tells Adam that he would take him all the way to Belton Falls, but his wife has a doctorís appointment. As Adam approaches the car, the old man tells him not to mind his wife, she has not been the same since her stroke.
Adam rides in the backseat, afraid he will be sick because he is nauseated. He sings The Farmer in the Dell and calms himself.
The old man is a contrast to the boys that hurt Adam. He drives slowly, is kind, and helps Adam from the ditch. While the boys were a retarding force, the old man is a furthering force--he helps Adam to reach his goal.