68 pages 2 hours read

Robert Cormier

After The First Death

Fiction | Novel | YA | Published in 1979

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Part 11

Chapter Summaries & Analyses

Part 11 Summary

Part 11 is a conversation between Ben and his father. It seems Ben did die by suicide by jumping from Brimmler’s Bridge, and his father now hallucinates Ben as a presence in his head. Ben’s father reveals that the phone call in his office and the 9:30 time for the attack were planned. Ben needed to believe that information was true so the hijackers would believe it, too.

Ben’s voice knows his father brought him back because his father is “afraid that I won’t forgive you” (229). Ben forgives his father and rattles off details about his past that eerily match up with details from his father’s school days. The chapter ends with Ben deciding he wants to stay and that his father should go.

Part 11 Analysis

It is unclear when exactly Part 11 takes place. It may be assumed it follows Part 9 and is after Ben likely dies by suicide. No proof is offered for this, and the reappearance of Ben’s dialogue here initially suggests that Ben may not be dead after all. As this part progresses, Ben’s dialogue seems to become a voice within General Markhand’s head. The general may be hallucinating Ben’s presence because he blames himself for Ben’s fate.