I am The Cheese


In the book I am the Cheese by, Robert Cormier, there are lots of twists in the plot. The main character, Adam Farmer a.k.a. "A" and Paul Delmonte, is a resident in a mental hospital. Throughout the story is woven an account of Adam Farmer?s bike trip to Rutterburg Vermont in search of his father. It appears that in this story Adam never leaves the grounds of the mental hospital. The journey takes place in his mind.
As Adam starts his trip, he meets an old man at a gas station who calls Adam "Skipper" and "...has white hair and a face with so many red and blue veins that it resembles the road map in his hands..."(page 23). This old man helps Adam with directions. This is important because at the conclusion of the book, Adam is called "Skipper" by Mr. Harvester the old maintenance man on the grounds of the mental hospital. This old man never goes anywhere although he loves to read maps "...has red veins in his face that resemble the road maps he is always reading" (page 212). These "two" people are either identical twins or the same person who is just imagined to be some one else by Adam when he takes his imaginary journey to his father. I think that the gas station guy is also Mr. Harvester because they are described exactly the same and they call Adam the same name.
Whipper, Dobbie, and Lewis meet Adam when he goes to Carver, New Hampshire. They give Adam a hard time and try to steal his present for his dad. When he leaves the place and starts to bike again, they follow him in a car. They chase him and knock him into a ditch. At the end on page 213, Adam thinks to himself about how Whipper always tries to steal Adams package and once knocked him into a ditch. This is another point that supports my theory and makes the plot make more sense.
On page 146 you meet Arthur Haynes. He is described as "...huge, a mountainous man..." (page 146) and later, on page 147, Adam sees that he is moist with perspiration on his forehead and dabs it with a handkerchief. He is not very nice to Adam but a someone from inside calls Arthur, by the name of "Arthur" to tell Adam where his bike was. This and the description of Arthur at the end is key because it tells you that he watches people from the balcony and that he is fat and perspires a lot. Connecting those two (the name and the description) you clearly have more proof that Adam did not go on the trip from Monument.
Dr. Dupont is the Doctor at the mental hospital. He lets Adam ride his bike on the grounds as long as Adam promises not to leave. That tells me that Adam has not left the grounds of the hospital. Dr. Dupont also keeps the hallways smelling like lilacs and that is what Adam remembers so distinctly about his mother. Dr. Dupont helps Adam remember his parents by bringing out his father?s leather jacket, his father?s old cap and Pokey the pig. It seems like Dr. Dupont is a very nice man and devoted to his work.
Adam also meets on his bike ride Junior Varney, who steals his bike. He is described as short tempered and somebody who steals thing. On page 214, Adam talks about Junior Varney again and says that he "...lurks somewhere and will try to steal my bike...", that tells me that Junior Varney, the same one, is a patient at the hospital.
My theory on this book is that Adam Farmer has some sort of amnesia that makes him forget his life and when it comes back to him he starts to forget it again. I also think that Adam is not really going on a bike trip from Monument, Massachusetts but is going around the hospital. I think the point that tells you where Adam is, is Mr. Harvister. The plot is given away by Mr. Harvister because Robert Cormier describes him the exact same way as he did at the beginning. Another strong point is Whipper and his friends because Adam says that they did the exact same thing as what happened in the journey.
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