All The Bright Places Summary and Theme

 All The Bright Places Summary and Theme

Niven tells the story from two different voices, those of high school students Theodore Finch (who goes by “Finch”) and Violet Markey. The characters initially meet at the highest point of their secondary school ringer tower, where both are pondering self destruction. Finch, splendid, shunned by a large portion of his friends, mishandled by his dad, and experiencing untreated bipolar problem, has battled self-destructive motivations for a long time. Violet, previously an advanced team promoter, honor understudy, and overall around model teen, is experiencing survivor's responsibility following the auto-related passing of her sister, Eleanor, the earlier year. Utilizing delicate, restorative language, Finch talks Violet off the edge. Thus, Violet does likewise for Finch. In any case, given Finch's deep rooted hardships, everybody expects that Violet climbed the pinnacle to save him, and he doesn't scatter this presumption.

The two characters structure a far-fetched organization and set out upon a visit through sights in their home province of Indiana to satisfy the course necessities of their US geology class. During this time, they become companions and afterward darlings. Finch assists Violet with conquering her injury and urges her to reconnect with life. At the point when Finch's temperament shifts from lunacy to despondency, Violet endeavors to help him; in any case, Finch feels that he is a lot cause and eventually commits suicide.

In a self-portraying postscript, that's what niven uncovers "a kid I knew and cherished" (379) committed suicide quite a while preceding the distribution of this book. Niven examines the disgrace that encompasses self destruction, the effect of the misfortune upon survivors, and the variety of treatment and backing accessible to help people enduring with dysfunctional behavior. She additionally portrays the results of untreated dysfunctional behavior and the powerlessness of numerous grown-ups to perceive indications of high school suicidality — including the effect of harassing.

The story of The relative multitude of Brilliant Places especially grants a feeling of expectation and acknowledgment for survivors who have lost friends and family to self destruction — and stresses the significance of suitable help and directing for these casualties too. Violet, injured by the twin misfortunes of her kin and beau, regardless looks ideally to her future toward the finish of the book.

The book opens with one of the two storytellers, Theodore Finch, reflecting upon the various events and conditions when he has asked himself, "Is today a decent day to kick the bucket?" (3). He is remaining on the tight edge of a chime tower on the grounds of his secondary school, feeling "deader than expected" (4), and has no memory of the few going before weeks. He yells a solicitation to understudies processing underneath to observe his demise, however he draws in no consideration.

Finch unexpectedly understands that another understudy, the wonderful, famous Violet Markey, is likewise ready to jump from one more segment of the slope. He quiets her by teaching her to move back over the railing to somewhere safe. He utilizes grim humor, taking note of that he doesn't believe it should create the impression that "I've been gone through the tree shredder at my burial service" and advances to her (7). Finch likewise yells to the group that Violet's motivation for climbing the pinnacle was to save him from self destruction. Subsequent to guaranteeing her security, Finch considers jumping from the level once more; nonetheless, Violet responds by conversing with him until he yields. Charlie Donahue, Finch's closest companion, who nonchalantly specifies that pizza is being served in the cafeteria, goes along with them.

Along these lines, Finch meets with his school advocate, Mr. Embry (also known as "Mr. Undeveloped organism"), who questions whether he is self-destructive, takes steps to call Finch's mom, and plans two times week by week gatherings. Finch doesn't voice his new contemplations of a "long, dull rest where you don't dream by any stretch of the imagination" compared with his desired idea to remain alive (16).

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All The Bright Places Character Analysis


Theodore Finch, an Indiana native, is a brilliant, witty, artistic 17-year-old high school student; he is one of the two teenage narrators of the story. He resides with his mother, a kind-hearted but overwhelmed, depressed, and ineffective single parent; his 18-year-old sister, Kate; and his eight-year-old sister, Decca. His father, a retired hockey player who recently divorced his wife to marry a younger woman, has always been physically and emotionally abusive to Finch.

Finch and the book’s other narrator, Violet Markey, eventually become a couple. Finch assists Violet in overcoming the emotional trauma stemming from the loss of her older sister. Despite heroic efforts to avoid falling “asleep,” he succumbs to depression from untreated bipolar disorder and commits suicide by drowning himself in the Blue Hole, an allegedly bottomless lake. This character functions as a cautionary tale regarding untreated mental illness and the inability of others to recognize signs of teenage suicidality. 


Violet Markey experiences trauma from the death of her older sister, Eleanor, in a car accident. Violet is a bright, skilled writer who has lost interest in many of her former activities and friends. Her devoted and well-meaning parents enrage her by failing to express their grief at Eleanor’s death. Violet experiences survivor’s guilt: She was in the car with Eleanor when it crashed; she is also anguished by the fact that she directed Eleanor to drive home via a bridge that iced over on the night of the accident.

All The Bright Places Summary and Theme

Finch assists Violet in finding productive ways of overcoming her anger and expressing her grief, and he prods her into wandering further from home and riding in a car again. Finch convinces Violet to return to her avocation of writing and, eventually, driving. When Finch’s untreated mood disorder causes him to sink into depression, Finch is unable to accept Violet’s attempt to help him. Violet finds Finch’s body after following a series of clues he left in text messages. She grieves the loss of her lover as well as her sister. Eventually, Violet starts to accept these tragedies and anticipates a bright future. 


Charlie is Finch's tranquil and strong dearest companion. He helps Finch without falling back on psychotherapeutic language. In particular, when he sees that Finch has climbed the ringer tower at the secondary school, he follows and nonchalantly reminds his companion that the cafeteria is serving pizza for lunch; in this manner, it would be a terrible day to hop.

Charlie is the calm inverse of the hero, Finch. A splendid and physically capable African-American understudy, Charlie shuns sports groups to try not to adjust to what he thinks about a racial generalization. He chooses for play chess and work on the yearbook staff all things considered. A valid and faithful companion to Finch, Charlie is irritated by the deceptive pain communicated at Finch's burial service by similar schoolmates who insulted his companion; he is an individual from the little gathering that Violet orchestrates to memorialize Finch at the Purina Pinnacle.


Brenda is also a devoted friend to Finch. She dyes her hair pink and red and sports a nose ring. Brenda is the antithesis of the “popular girl” social group to which Violet belonged prior to meeting Finch. Upon learning of Finch and Violet’s romantic involvement, Brenda warns Violet to treat her friend with kindness or face the consequences of her anger. Brenda also expresses condolences to Violet upon the loss of Eleanor. When Violet begins a new online magazine, “Germ,” to replace the one she created with her late sister, she invites Brenda to be a participant. Eventually, the two girls become best friends. Brenda is a primary participant in the small, closed memorial ceremony for Finch that Violet arranges at the Purina Tower. 


Amanda, a cheerleader, is the quintessential teenage “mean girl,” whose popularity stems as much from the fear that she invokes in others as it does from her father’s ownership of liquor stores and her apparent habit of “giving out” easily. Although Amanda maintains a confident and assertive exterior, she happens into Finch at a “Life is Life” meeting, which is a support group for suicidal teens. She reveals that she is bulimic, depressed, and suffers from self-loathing. Though she has treated Finch cruelly in the past, he assures her that he will never reveal her presence in the group to anyone else. Amanda dates Gabe Romero, aka “Roamer,” who has taunted Finch since grade school and labeled him with the nickname of “Freak.” After Finch’s death, Amanda ends this romantic relationship, asks to be included in the lunch group with Violet and Brenda, and participates in his memorial ceremony at Purina Tower. 


Linda Finch is the 41-year-old mother of Theodore, Kate, and Decca Finch. She is emotionally devastated when her abusive husband leaves her to marry a younger woman. Well-meaning but inadequate to the task of caring for her mentally ill son, Mrs. Finch copes by drinking wine and confiding in girlfriends. Although she is the mother of three, she never checks her answering machine for important messages and maintains only a superficial involvement in her children’s daily lives. She works at two part-time jobs (she is an unsuccessful real estate salesperson and a clerk in a local bookstore). Physically and emotionally scarred from her abusive marriage, Mrs. Finch strikes her son Finch as a victim, and he attempts to console and protect her; he never feels that she would be capable of understanding his pain or psychiatric symptoms. Mrs. Finch is essentially loving but unaware of the indicators of teenage suicide. Timid and fragile, she requests Violet investigate the locale where Finch may be found in order to spare herself the trauma of identifying her son’s body. 


Ted is Linda Finch’s ex-husband and the father of Theodore, Kate, and Decca Finch. A former hockey player, he is easily enraged and may be the genetic origin of Finch’s bipolar tendencies. He remarries a younger woman and lives in a nice house in a more expensive part of town than the one in which his ex-wife and children reside. The narrative emphasizes Ted’s violent behavior. He assaults his son twice over the course of the book, and Finch documents many previous assaults. Finch reveals to Violet that his father was the cause of a terrible scar on his abdomen. 

All The Bright Places Themes


Characters all through the book take steps to conceal their psychological maladjustments. In the wake of being named a "freak" by a schoolmate while endeavoring to share scattered considerations, Theodore Finch figures out how to keep his sentiments and temperaments to himself. Amanda Priest, a well known team promoter, goes to a self destruction support bunch yet swears Finch to mystery. Violet conceals the degree of her sadness. The book shows the eventually deplorable results of quietness encompassing psychological wellness.

Finch is the essential vehicle through which this topic is investigated. By all accounts, he is very shrewd, has accomplished early acknowledgment to NYU, and is a talented performer and lyricist, yet as a general rule he battles with side effects of fomentation and despondency. His accounts demonstrate that he has encountered abnormal considerations and sentiments since youth however has would not uncover them as a result of the manner in which he may be seen. In particular, he specifies being able to "see" cerebral pains to a companion, Gabe Romero, when the two are in eighth grade. "Drifter" in this way labels Finch as a "freak," driving the young fellow to encounter underestimation by his companions. Finch expounds on his extensive stretches of being "Sleeping" (clinically discouraged) and "Alert" (hyper). He takes gallant steps to stay "Alert" by running for a significant distance consistently and making rattles off of techniques to hold himself back from nodding off. Notwithstanding his endeavors, and the impetus of a proceeded with relationship with Violet Markey, he at last capitulates to misery. He has had a long lasting interest with the subject and has a broad information on related random data; regardless, he some way or another escapes everyone's notice of a useless framework that permits him to experience an untreated mental issue.

This subject go on in the creator's depiction of the Finch family's response to his months-long episodes of resting and regular vanishings from the home for a few days. The running response is that these ways of behaving are, basically, essential for Finch's persona. His more established sister, Kate, to whom he is close, credits large numbers of his weaknesses to deep rooted actual maltreatment by their dad. His mom, overpowered by situation, doesn't think he is needing mental assistance. The outcome is that Finch experiences alone, scared that further disclosure of his side effects will yield expanded disparagement, and dependent upon strategies like sluggish breathing and building up to beat fomentation and nervousness. At the point when his mind-set decays for the last time, Finch's just solace lies in relocating to his room storeroom, where he feels less defenseless and ready to control his apprehensions. While his acumen permits him to offer wry remarks about his side effects and make music, it works to his detriment when his psychological nimbleness helps him in masking his suffering and, consequently, being deprived of therapeutic care.


Finch and many other characters are driven by a desire to fit in with their peers. The book shows how this desire can have negative impacts. As an eighth grader, Theodore Finch makes the mistake of confiding some of his symptoms to Gabe Romero, who was his close friend. “Roamer” shares this information with his parents, and this results in school officials, the Finch family, and Theodore’s classmates being apprised of his situation. He is given the nickname, “Freak,” and this follows him throughout high school. After this, Finch determines to hide his symptoms and not speak about his troubles, even with his guidance counselor, Mr. Embry. Finch fears divulging this information would further ostracize him. In this case, desire for conformity has disastrous effects. 

Finch’s family also tries to hide any troubles. In a more functional family system, this information would have resulted in psychiatric intervention; however, the Finches are embarrassed by the revelation and fear being stigmatized. Theodore is left to his own devices, and the techniques that he develops in order to deal with his symptoms render him aberrational in his adolescent peer group. Specifically, he disappears from school for weeks at a time and claims to have suffered from the flu; in fact, he is suffering from intermittent, crippling depression. He runs for miles every evening when he is in a manic cycle. He counts and breathes slowly when he fears losing his temper or succumbing to anxiety. All the while, he is taunted and provoked by Romero and, with notable exceptions such as his true friends, most of his classmates. He realizes that he is brighter than most of them, but he still suffers the pain of being named “most suicidal” student in the school gossip rag and being considered a social untouchable. Ironically, Amanda Monk, the apparent soul of teenage conformity and one of Finch’s harshest critics, is a member of a suicide support group for teenagers. Finch sees her there, and she reveals that she hates herself, much as Finch hates himself, and is subject to the same negative, punitive self-perception. 

Violet aims for conformity at the beginning of the book, going so far as to avoid Finch when an association might harm her reputation. It speaks well for Violet’s character when she overcomes the shallow standards of her former, socially acceptable group and branches out into relationships with Finch, Brenda, and Charlie. She makes a conscious decision to risk ostracism and ridicule when she commits to dating Finch; nonetheless, she defies the judgment of her parents and contemporaries when she finds qualities in Theodore that do not exist in other boys she has dated. Her growth emanates from the excruciating loss of her sister, Eleanor. Violet’s reaction to the tragedy causes her to renounce her former extracurricular activities, (e.g., cheerleading and orchestra) as she changes her appearance to be less attractive. While a hairstyle featuring bangs and large glasses may have suited Eleanor, they do not enhance Violet’s appearance; thus, a physical metamorphosis precedes her intellectual, philosophical, and spiritual evolution. Her decision to embrace Finch, both literally and metaphorically, foreshadows Violet’s transition from a conformist personality paralyzed by grief to a resilient, albeit wounded, autonomous individual who anticipates a wealth of life experiences. 


The creator, Jennifer Niven, relates in an epilog that her extraordinary granddad passed on from a self-caused discharge twisted some time before her introduction to the world. It is hazy whether this act was deliberate or coincidental; Niven's family never examined it, yet the passing has impacted them for ages. Also, the creator found the group of kid she "knew and cherished" who had ended it all (381). These encounters prepared her to make nuanced characters with complex profound responses to the passings of friends and family, specifically the culpability that frequently follows demise.

Violet Markey endures a car collision on a frigid scaffold that she had encouraged her sister to roll over as they voyaged home from a party. Her sister, Eleanor, passed on in the accident. Violet, who considered Eleanor her closest companion, encounters responses going from pain to seethe over this misfortune. A prototypical all-American team promoter preceding this occasion, Violet retreats from her past exercises, companions, and side interests. She can't center, thus her energy for composing and her capacity to finish school tasks endure. She communicates her sorrow by copying Eleanor's haircut and wearing her glasses, albeit neither compliment her. Violet is confined and overpowered so much that she thinks about self destruction herself. Incidentally, Finch, who eventually commits suicide, saves her. Her loss of motion is made to some degree by her family's powerlessness think back about Eleanor or to share their misery at her flight. The deepest desires her folks held for her late sister fall on Violet. These couple with their all around existing assumptions for Violet's future, and the weight wears on her. While Eleanor goes through an actual end, the existence that Violet knew before this misfortune has passed on too. The Markey guardians, while grieving Eleanor's misfortune, attempt to move Violet back into the world by empowering her to connect socially and drive a vehicle once more. The idea of their courage is vital: they purposely urge Violet to get back to the action that killed Eleanor.

There is a reasonable divergence in the responses of others to the passings of Eleanor and Finch. Violet is the beneficiary of sympathies from instructors and colleagues almost a year after her sister's passing. Alternately, Finch's demise is recognized and grieved, at times dishonestly, by relatives and cohorts; in any case, others suspect the chance of self destruction, yet this is never affirmed freely by his folks. Their thinking is that no self destruction note was found; in this way, Finch's end was coincidental. This hypothesis is predicated upon the shows of another time. Finch composes messages and messages to his mom, sisters, Violet, and dearest companions that are what could be compared to the printed copy self destruction notes of prior ages. His folks dread the disgrace related with self destruction that won during their own childhood, and similar turns out as expected for their apprehension about conceding the kid needed mental mediation. Mysterious reasoning and forswearing are strong adapting gadgets and unquestionably less difficult than conceding that various methodologies could have forestalled this misfortune.

Violet Markey is a survivor of an unexpected, tragic loss as well as that of a suicide. She is in love with Finch but angry with him. She wonders why their relationship was an inadequate incentive for him to live; she feels guilt about being unable to save him; and she sees him everywhere she goes. Mr. Embry, the school counselor who worked with both Finch and Violet, shares this sense of guilt at having been unsuccessful in saving him, but he reminds Violet that her emotional survival is contingent upon accepting the tragedy and the fact that her life is now changed forever.


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