Anwell is dying. He made a blood oath with his friend Finnigan. They agreed that Finnigan would only do bad, and that Anwell chose his new angelic name should be Gabriel so he could do no wrong. It was thought that if Gabriel did nothing but good, he would no longer be abused. Finnigan begins starting fires to the town as revenge to people that have done wrong to Gabriel. Gabriel falls in love with Evangeline, but his mother wants to keep him closed off from the rest of the world.
Gabriel has a dog named Surrender and when Surrender is caught eating a farmer’s goats, the farmer shoots the dog but does not kill him.
Gabriel’s father then forces Gabriel to shoot Surrender to put him out of his misery. Gabriel tries to stop Finnigan from setting fires but Finnigan refuses, saying that according to the pact, Finnigan can only do bad. Gabriel fears that Finnigan is going to hurt Evangeline.
Gabriel’s mother has forbidden Gabriel of seeing Evangeline, so in a moment of rage, he grabs a hatchet and kills both his mother and father. Bones are discovered in the forest and Gabriel is being questioned. In order to stop Finnigan, Gabriel must die. Gabriel has no known disease, his sickness is mentally caused, and he is making himself sick. The only way to make the arsons stop is to take his own life because he created a monster.
Title This novel is named Surrender because it is the name of Gabriel’s dog. It is also named Surrender because Gabriel has to surrender everything he has to get rid of his evil friend Finnigan. Gabriel pretty much created Finnigan into the monster that he is and Gabriel tries to give up, or surrender everything he has for the greater good. If Finnigan is gone, all the evil in the town of Mulyan is gone and there would be no more arsons which would mean no more trouble.
Character Gabriel is confusing; he creates Finnigan in his mind because of his brother Vernon. Vernon was handicapped and could never do anything a boy has ever dreamed of doing; so Gabriel creates Finnigan to do all the things Vernon would have wanted. Not going to school, running in the forest, and getting into trouble. Nobody could see Finnigan; he became Gabriel’s imaginary friend. Gabriel is innocent and just wants to help others and is willing to risk everything to take back his mistakes.
Finnigan is a troublemaker, setting fires in the town as revenge to anyone who has ever done wrong to Gabriel. Finnigan wants Gabriel to himself, thinking Gabriel belongs to him. He keeps people from talking to Gabriel, making Finnigan his only true friend. I dislike Gabriel because he is always fearful and is anti-social, he does not like to talk to others and that is the opposite of me. I like Finnigan because he is not afraid to talk to others and does not have any fears. Gabriel should be praised because he is the type that does not cause any trouble and stays quiet while on the other hand, Finnigan deserves to be criticized because he put so much evil in Mulyan and made peoples lives horrible.
Passage Analysis One of my favorite quotes from this story is when Gabriel says “My will be done”. (Page 221) I chose this quote because it explains that Gabriel is serious about what he wants. Gabriel wanted to die to get rid of Finnigan so he could do no harm and when Gabriel dies it is when Finnigan goes away. Gabriel was confident in what he was doing would work, and Finnigan didn’t take his plan seriously and took it as a joke.
Another quote that I chose was on page 65 when Gabriel’s mother said “What was that noise Anwell—I heard a noise”. I chose this quote because it explains how scared Gabriel is of his mom because he knows he will be punished for his brother crying. In attempt to silence Vernon’s crying, he puts a piece of cloth in his mouth and hid him in an old refrigerator that was no longer in use. His mother came down from their bedroom and asked Gabriel what the noise was. Gabriel lied to his mother and said that Vernon was outside in the yard, when in all reality, he was dead in the refrigerator. Vernon’s body was later found by his father when he came home from church.
The last quote that I chose from the novel was on page 231 and it was when Gabriel’s father said “The sooner its done, the better”. Gabriel’s father was saying this because he was having Gabriel shoot his dog, Surrender so he can put it out of its misery so he doesn’t suffer. Surrender had killed a farmer’s goats and the farmer had came outside and shot him. Surrender had not died nut he was severely wounded, the bullet was lodged in his muscle under the spine. Gabriel felt guilty about shooting Surrender but he knew that he could be free.
Making Connections Fear is a common aspect of human life, everyone is afraid of something, whether they want to admit it or not. Gabriel was afraid of his parents, afraid of his mother’s cruelty and his father’s abuse, afraid of being humiliated by his other classmates. And afraid of even making simple contact with kids his own age. Gabriel closed himself off in the world and talked to Finnigan, his best friend. Gabriel’s fear of his parents lead to his brother’s young death.
An American dream is to live with freedom, Finnigan had all the freedom in the world, he could do whatever he wanted, say whatever he wanted, and Gabriel was jealous. Finnigan hid in the shadows of the forest instead of go to school, he set fire to almost every building in Mulyan, and nobody could do anything about it. Finnigan had all the freedom in the world.