Don’t They? Summary

  • Last updated on June 30, 2023
Title: Don't They? A Comprehensive Summary

Author: Richard Polito
Publication Date: October 15, 2002
Genre: Fiction
Page Length: Not Available


"Don't They?" is a thought-provoking fiction novel written by Richard Polito. Published on October 15, 2002, it delves into the lives of several characters, exploring their interconnected stories in a captivating narrative. Through its distinct storytelling, the book addresses important themes such as social inequality, the human desire for connection, and the profound impact of personal choices.

The story unfolds in five sections, each providing a deeper insight into the lives of the characters, their struggles, and the challenges they face.

In the first section, we are introduced to the principal character, Sarah Adams. Sarah, an ambitious young lawyer, finds herself caught in a society saturated with power struggles and corruption. As a result, she is forced to confront her own moral compass and make profound choices that will determine the direction of her life. Throughout the section, Polito skillfully portrays Sarah's ethical dilemma and her internal journey towards self-discovery.

The second section revolves around Steven Thompson, a talented but neglected high school student. Steven's story offers a stark portrayal of the uphill battle many adolescents face in seeking validation and acceptance within an unforgiving social environment. As the section progresses, we witness Steven's transformation when he unexpectedly finds solace and self-expression in the world of music. Polito subtly exposes the impact of society's judgment and the importance of pursuing one's passions despite prevalent criticism or neglect.

Next, the third section focuses on Maria Ramirez, a hardworking immigrant striving to provide her children with a better life. Maria's story sheds light on the plight of countless immigrant families who navigate unfamiliar territories while battling prejudice and hostility. Polito captures Maria's determination and resilience as she navigates the challenges of assimilation, financial strain, and the constant fear of deportation. This section serves as a humanizing portrayal of the immigrant experience, emphasizing the importance of empathy and understanding.

In the fourth section, we are introduced to Mark Johnson, a retired war veteran grappling with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Polito artfully delves into the psychological trauma faced by soldiers returning from war zones and the significant impact it has on their personal and familial relationships. Mark's story draws attention to the inadequate support systems in place for veterans and the urgent need for society to address the mental health repercussions caused by war.

Finally, the fifth section brings the narrative full circle, intertwining the lives of all the characters. As their paths converge, the consequences of their choices and actions become evident. Polito skillfully highlights the ripple effect of individual decisions, ultimately demonstrating the interconnectedness of lives and how one person's choices can significantly impact others.

"Don't They?" tackles themes ranging from social justice, discrimination, and mental health to personal growth, resilience, and compassion. Polito's writing style effectively engages readers by providing vivid character development and thought-provoking storylines. The book serves as a timely reminder of the importance of empathy and understanding in creating a more inclusive society.

In conclusion, Richard Polito's "Don't They?" masterfully weaves together the lives of multiple characters, inviting readers to reflect on a range of societal issues. Through its exploration of ethical dilemmas, the human desire for acceptance, and the consequences of personal choices, the novel prompts readers to consider their own place in an interconnected world. This compelling work of fiction has the potential to spark important discussions and foster a greater understanding among students and readers alike.

Categories: Books