I Am the Cheese

by: Robert Cormier

Symbols

Main ideas Symbols

Wind

Adam loves the wind because of the freedom he feels when riding his bike in it. The wind contrasts starkly with Adam's feeling of claustrophobia or lack of freedom. The freedom of the wind is also connected to Adam's identity crisis. The wind can at once be felt everywhere and be seen nowhere, and it can change direction easily. Similarly, Adam has more than one identity, which he switches around to fit the circumstances, note his lie to Amy. However, he is not strongly attached to any of his identities. Because he is helpless in all other facets of his life, perhaps Adam likes the feeling of being able to control of his lack of identity, like Grey. When Adam feels outside of himself while talking to Brint, he revels in the power of lacking an identity. The wind is infused with this powerful freedom—it blows along to its own accord, giving Adam the same rush he gets by riding on his bicycle or stepping outside himself.

Pokey the Pig

The contents of the package Adam carries throughout the story, supposedly for his father, is revealed at the end of the novel. The package contains Adam's childhood stuffed animal, Pokey the Pig, one of the few items that his mother saved during their relocation. The animal is a poignant link to Adam's lost childhood. The pig also symbolizes Adam's desire to understand his identity and past experiences, as well as his return to an infantile state when he cannot face the truth of his identity. The pig, a farm animal, also fits into the theme of family and domestic harmony. The animal is the only piece of family that Adam has, and he clutches to it tightly.