James, on the other hand, does not possess Dicey's ability to shut out other people. James' firm insistence on writing a report that his classmates will like illustrates one of his prime sources of stress and frustration. While growing up in Provincetown, both Sammy and Dicey learned to deal with the cruelty of their peers by fighting and by becoming loners, but James, who is not as strong and fierce as his brother and sister, merely suffered at the teasing of his ostracizing peers. James wants to be liked by his friends, and his concern with his peers' reactions to his work foreshadows the main source of conflict for him in the novel.