I Am the Cheese

by: Robert Cormier

Important Quotations Explained

Quotes Important Quotations Explained

"I am riding the bicycle and I am on Route thirty-one in Monument, Massachusetts, on my way to Rutterburg, Vermont..."

These are the first and last words of the book, and constitute Adam's quest to meet his father. However, the end of the book reveals that Adam never went far away, and it suggests that he rode his bike around the grounds of a mental hospital. The entire trip took place in his mind, a futile attempt to make himself believe that his father was still alive, and that he can find him at the end of his journey. Just as Adam reaches the horrifying truth—that his father died, along with his mother—he withdraws, loses his memory again, and becomes infantile. Brint suggests that Adam should be killed, or held until he "obliterates," and when Adam repeats his journey again at the end of the book, it is clear that this will be his obliteration—an ongoing bike trip around the hospital.