Summary Of The Rules Of Survival By Nancy Werlin

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I am currently reading a novel called The Rules of Survival written by Nancy Werlin. In the story, Matt Walsh is identified as the protagonist because he is the key focus of the story where all his thoughts are shared in his perspective. He's an intelligent and calm boy who acts like a mother to his two younger sisters because he’s always trying to protect them from their abusive mother, Nikki. The antagonist of the story is none other than the vicious and unpredictable mother. The Rules of Survival is set in South Boston, Massachusetts where the story progresses and reveals the conflict in which the characters are facing. It becomes clear that the story’s main conflict would have to be person vs. person and person vs. self because Matthew …show more content…
For instance, after Nikki took her children on a road trip, what she expected them to say is ‘Thank You’, but since they were a little too late to say it, she drives them “on the wrong side of the road, heading directly into oncoming traffic”(58). The theme that stands out the most so far in the book is that sometimes the person you love the most, hurts you the most. Matt’s mother, and my friend’s father are both truly, affectionate people deep down inside, but its just that sometimes they would let their anger take control of themselves. With both of their on-and-off behaviour, this creates a person vs. self conflict. In some cases, they “learned to live with fear” because the exposure to it at home made them “[learn] to function with it” (10). Matt and my friend worried that if they tell someone about their abusive parent, they could sever their ties between their other guardian and their siblings because there’s a possibility where they could be “[sent] into foster care” (82). In my perspective, the problem is that Matt and my friend are avoiding the fact that they’re in danger because they’re avoiding the human instinct of fear which is signaling them to pay attention and do something in order to save

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