Black Swan Green Chapters 9-10 Summary & Analysis

David Mitchell

Black Swan Green

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Black Swan Green Chapters 9-10 Summary & Analysis

Chapter Nine Summary: Maggot

Jason’s suspicions were wrong– he was spotted going to the movies with his mother, and his classmates aren’t going to let him forget it. Ross Wilcox, Gary Drake, Neal Brose and Ant Little tease him mercilessly, imitating his stutter. The entire class seems to turn against Jason in this chapter, laughing at the jokes at his expense, mocking him when he gets a math equation wrong on the board, affixing stickers that say “Maggot” to the back of his shirt.

In PE, Ross Wilcox, Gary Drake and another boy are punished for illegally tackling Jason and are made to run to the bridge and back – but decide to take off on a little adventure and return forty minutes later. As they await the punishment from their substitute PE teacher, the boys compose a song about their teacher with dirty lyrics. The headmaster steps in to punish the entire class, which is made to gather during lunch in the old gym. Jason reflects that the old gym is the scene of a suicide – a boy bullied so badly, he hung himself by his necktie. The punishment is a week’s detention, but Jason can only feel relief – this is a week where he won’t be bullied during lunchtime.

From Moran, Jason learns that Debby Crombie is pregnant, carrying dead Tom Yew’s baby.

In class later, Jason is called upon to read from Lord of the Flies, his stammer painful and obvious. Gary Drake reads next, mimicking Jason’s stammer. A teacher, Mr. Kempsey, sends Jason on an errand to fetch his whistle from the staff room. On his way, he meets Holly Deblin, a new girl, who tells him he’s not a maggot, and not to put up with the bullies. In the staff room, he finds the whistle, but also sees a Xerox copy about dealing with bullies. Figuring it’s meant for him, Jason folds the paper and puts it in his pocket.

After Jason gets off the bus that afternoon, he runs into his tormentors, who have been waiting for him. Led by Ross Wilcox, one of the…

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