Reading Buddies: A Monster Calls [4]

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It's been weeks since I finished reading A Monster Calls, so I'm constructing my answers to these questions based on what I remember. You know. Senior moments.

Part 4: I No Longer See You to 100 years

1. Harry, the school bully, looks straight into Conor's eyes and says, "I no longer see you". Why is Conor so affected with this? Why do you think Lily's letter mattered to him, that it made everything "quiet"?

For as long as Harry "sees" Conor, the latter was consistently made aware of his existence. Harry and his bully-friends were the only thing that had the color of normalcy in Conor's life at the time, and so he actually welcomed their bullying, physical or otherwise. So when Harry finally stops, looks Conor in the eyes and says, "I no longer see you", Conor felt as if the last vestiges of that normalcy were beginning to fade.

On the other hand, Lily's letter mattered to him because it was an acknowledgment of what he longed to feel and hear from someone else.

2. Why do you think Conor was wishing to be punished for what he did to Harry? Was the Headmaster right for not punishing him?

Conor wished to be punished for what he did to Harry simply because he knew he deserved it, and because he knew in his heart that Harry was the last person he should have borne the brunt of his anger. I think the Headmaster was wrong in not punishing Conor; no matter what his situation was, his actions toward Conor were not justified at all.

3. "You be as angry as you need to be," Conor's mum said to him. What do you think about this statement? People often say that anger is unhealthy, but why does Conor's mum say it's okay to be that?

Anger is the only outlet through which Conor's repressed feelings about the whole situation could be expressed, and so his mum tries to encourage him to let it all out. I don't quite believe that anger is unhealthy, because a person also needs to vent his frustrations and pains in some way; what's unhealthy is restraining oneself, bottling everything up inside until all the anger is close to bursting, and before you know it, you erupt. Conor's mum knew of all the bottled-up anger inside her son, and considering the state she was in, she knew she was of very little help in assuaging such anger. So she tried to encourage Conor by telling him to "be angry as he needed to be".


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