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Free Study Guide-I Am the Cheese by Robert Cormier-Free Book Notes
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CHAPTER SUMMARIES WITH NOTES

CHAPTER 8

Summary

Adam asks “the doctor”(T) if he is a doctor. He introduced himself as Brint, but not as Dr. Brint. Furthermore, Adam says the place they are in is much more like an estate than a hospital. Instead of answering Adam’s questions Brint says he is glad Adam is paying attention to his surroundings because he has not in so long. Brint asks Adam about the clues that he mentioned earlier.

Adam says that maybe the dog is a clue. Brint asks if Adam means Silver, a German shepherd on the premises. But Adam says that he is referring to another dog. He begins to remember his childhood. One day he and his father see a small but ugly dog. When Adam asks what they do, his father says “bluff.” Adam remembers that was the first time he saw his father not as a father. He normally did father things like go to work, read the paper, and watch sports on television. His father only seemed different when he talked about books, which he loved.

The day they were confronted by the dog, Adam, aged nine, and his father were on the way to the library for Louis Armstrong records. Adam remembers his dad was like a stranger, paralyzed suddenly. He dragged Adam into the woods. They did not normally visit the woods. They were no longer headed to the library. That is when they saw the dog. Adam’s father told him to back away slowly, while he distracted the dog. Then he wanted Adam to go to the highway and flag down a car. Adam was terrified. He was torn between leaving his father and getting away from the beast. As Adam backed away, the dog attacked his father. Adam’s father then grabbed a tree limb and as the dog bit on to it. His father swung the limb and let it dog. The dog, now injured, departed. Adam never loved his father as much as that moment.


Adam never found out why they went into the woods. His father told Adam’s mother that it was because it was the first nice day. Adam felt as though he and his father shared a secret.

Notes

This chapter develops the mystery surrounding Adam’s father. We still are not sure what has taken him away from Adam. However, this mysterious event coupled with Adam’s first memory suggests his father was involved with something dangerous.

CHAPTER 9

Summary

Adam decides he must stop to call Amy Hertz, because she refreshes his spirit and he is discouraged. However, he realizes that she will not be home from school for over an hour. Adam needs to use the bathroom, and even though he is not hungry he realizes he must eat. He heads to Howard Johnson’s. He remembers that as a child he called it “Orange Johnson.” The first time he did this his parents laughed and laughed and he felt safe. He still repeats that phrase when he needs to feel safe.

He becomes nervous about his bike and the bathroom. He cannot leave his bike in case it gets stolen. He cannot go to the bathroom if there is no window. He realizes that he can watch his bike through the window as he eats. He sees a bathroom at the gas station with a window. He feels his luck is turning.

After he is finished eating, he tries to call Amy even though he knows she is not home yet. She does not answer; he feels claustrophobic and panicky in the booth. He gets back on the road.

Notes

This chapter contributes to the characterization of Adam as paranoid and uneasy. He really is afraid of everything.

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