Relationships in The Fever (Friendships (Teen Culture (Strong sense of…
Relationships in The Fever
Attitudes towards sex
Differing standards for girls & boys - its ok for boys to sleep around but not for girls to do so
Eli enjoys an active sex life yet he is concerned about Deenie getting in to a car "with some guy" (25). Fears for her reputation as well as her well being.
Lise's mother did not want to let her out with boys, social stigma.
Speculation that the illness is an STD, accusations of girls being promiscuous.
Eli & Girls
Eli is very popular with girls and receives lots of female attention
Constantly sneaking girls into the house, casual attitude towards sex
Gabby sends him a photo wearing only "purple underwear" (25), she is trying to get his attention, can't express her feelings.
Prevalence of "sexting" in modern society, sex has become a commodity
Tom's Love Life
Limited love life after divorce
More old-fashioned values, more inclined to date as opposed to casual sex
Extremely hurt by Georgia's infidelity & her lack of regard for their marriage
Not above using Diane to get information about Lise even though he never called her back after their date, claiming he "never felt ready" (76) for a second date.
The Girls & Sex
Gabby & Skye both more sexually experienced, Skye had a much older boyfriend
Gabby is naive in regards to Eli. She thinks she is special because he has "been so nice to" (277) her. He has treated her like a sister.
Gabby is extremely jealous of Lise. She is beautiful but she is sexualised in her swimsuit, the boys praise her "pretty white ass" (20). Lack of respect.
Pressure to lose virginity to fit in at school.
Deenie knew that Sean was "messing around" (236) with Lise, yet she still felt compelled to sleep with him.
The novel opens with Deenie losing her virginity, thinks she looks different afterwards.
Sean Lurie as a player, looks just like Eli. The good looking boys can be promiscuous if they want to be.
It seems to be accepted that boys are more sexually active than girls
Deenie & Tom
Close relationship, single parent family
Tom wishes "Georgia was there" (49) to support Deenie, negative impact of marital breakdown.
Deenie & Georgia
Absence of a maternal figure as Georgia lives far away
Deenie is distant from her mother, doesn't want to answer her calls
Lack of a strong female role model could partially explain Deenie's naivety towards sex & relationships.
Opposite to Georgia, she is there for her daughter constantly.
More dysfunctional than Deenie or Lise's home lives
Domestic abuse - her father had "taken a claw hammer to his wife's " (17) face
Consequential absence of her father and lack of a strong male influence in Gabby's life could reflect her irrational love for Eli and why she is unable to express her feelings in a constructive way.
Children who experience domestic abuse often struggle to develop "good coping skills" (Seifert), which could be applicable to Gabby as she struggles to control the jealousy she feels towards Lise as a result of her own infatuation with Eli.
Swept up in paranoia, speculates about what might have caused the illness
Doesn't want anyone to see Lise in hospital, protective
Unreasonably lashes out at Eli, blames men for what is happening to girls.
"It shouldn't have been a surprise that her Mom wouldn't come" (199). Distance between them, lack of emotional support.
Tom still sees her as his "little girl" (33), struggles to accept that she is growing up.
He enjoys when Deenie talks to him "the entire ride to school" (164), sense of bonding
Very protective, wants to support her throughout the hysteria, worries about her going to the hospital alone, her driving out to see Gabby. Takes on extra responsibility that should have been Georgia's.
Deenie & Eli
Older, more mature than Deenie. Tom seems to worry less about him than about her.
Eli is also very protective over Deenie, hopes she is never with "guys like him" (8).
Proactive in his confrontation with Sean Lurie to force his confession about what happened with Lise. Ironic that he doesn't know what happened between Sean & Deenie.
Parents in the School
Completely swept up in paranoia surrounding what has happened to their daughters.
Direct their anger at the school
Fearful speculation about vaccines.
"What kind of school endorses medical experimentation on its students?" (145).Irrationally directing blame and suspicion at the school.
Deenie & Lise
Enduring friendship, knew each other as young children.
Genuine concern for Lise, constant attempts to visit her in hospital.
Deenie's sense of guilt that she does not get sick.
Both girls similarly naive and innocent
Formation of "The Trio Grande" (19)
Deenie & Gabby
Newer friendship, Gabby is "the opposite of Lise" (22).
Glamorous aspect of Gabby's friendship, she is a trendsetter with her sparkly tights and coloured streak of hair.
More sexually experienced, sense of peer pressure for Deenie to be like Gabby.
Sense of clone culture as all the girls attempt to emulate Gabby's image and cultivate the same style. "Today's young women look like clones"
Gabby & Skye
Sense of jealously from Deenie - "she wished it were just her and Gabby" (21)
Skye is a negative influence on Gabby, it was her idea to poison Lise. Gabby is gullible to Skye's plotting
.Similar sense of style, unique clothes and hairstyles to cultivate their images
Gabby protects Skye to her own detriment - "It's all Skye's fault but Gabby won't tell" (298).Gabby accepts punishment while Skye faces no consequences.
Gabby & Lise
Gabby feels threatened by Lise's beauty
Extremely jealous when she thinks Lise is involved with Eli.
Gabby's jealously and desire for revenge ultimately destroys her friendship with Lise as well as with Deenie.
Strong sense of stereotypical high school hierarchy
Gabby is like the Queen Bee - she is always "bookended by two girls" (20). Her cronies constantly flock around her.
Role of Kim Court - she is merely an onlooker, not really part of the friendship group. Her online videos are all that merits attention.
High school culture mimics that of many cult teen classics such as Mean Girls.