My Sister’s Keeper

by: Jodi Picoult

Campbell Alexander

Over the course of the novel, Campbell evolves from a sarcastic, emotionally aloof opportunist who fears intimacy into a person who—though still sarcastic—is more trusting, open, and truly cares about the wellbeing of Anna and her family. At the beginning of the story, Campbell has almost no friends, except for his service dog, Judge. Instead, he keeps himself closed off from others, fearing his epilepsy will cause people to pity him or think him a burden, and he uses his sarcasm to hold people at a distance. He repeatedly tells bad jokes about why he needs a service dog, for instance, and he alternates between caring about Anna and using her case for publicity. Once he begins to care about Anna and to reconnect with Julia, however, Campbell begins opening himself up to new relationships. In fact, Campbell’s epilepsy and the resulting lack of control he feels over his own body even help him to bond with Anna, who also feels, albeit in a different way, that she has no control over her body. Eventually Campbell starts being honest about his feelings, and less sarcasm appears in his conversations. By the end of the novel, he agrees to act with power of attorney for Anna’s medical decisions, proving the two have established a bond as the relationship means they would have to stay in touch at least through Anna’s eighteenth birthday. We also learn that Campbell and Julia eventually marry, and that they remained friends with the Fitzgeralds for a time.