Benji Character Analysis in Beartown by Fredrik Backman
First thing's first, Benji, you have always been my favorite character. Being initially portrayed as an aggressive, incompetent stoner boy caught my eye immediately. You were one of the only boys on the team who made the right choice when Maya reported what Kevin had done. You tried to talk to him in a calm manner and ask what had happened but he blew it completely out of proportion. Kevin turned the whole situation around and went crazy on you by yelling, "So NOW you give a damn? What the hell does it matter to you anyway? You weren't even here! You'd rather go to Hed and get wasted than stay here with your best friends! Your TEAM!" (Backman 190). He knew what he did but instead of admitting to it, he got extremely defensive and cut you off. You didn't deserve to be yelled at by Kevin. In the future, you should know your worth before you waste your time supporting people like him. The fact that he so easily dismissed you proved how terrible a friend he truly is. You've always known what kind of person he was, you just chose to ignore it. Always trust your gut.
You know what, it's probably guys like Kevin who made you too afraid to be who you truly are. I'll never truly know why you couldn't let yourself be with the bass player, but I'm going to offer some advice anyway. The bass player cares about you. It's obvious. He may not know much about you yet, but he's making an effort to learn more. Even after saying hockey was dumb, he proceeded to ask, "... will you teach me how to skate? … I'd like to understand something you love" (Backman 320). I get that you're a closed-off person but some people are worth opening up to. Being gay may not be the "norm" in Beartown, but that doesn't mean you should ashamed if you are. Be proud of who you are. Acknowledge everything you have overcome to get where you are today. It means something. You mean something. I know you think you're this very aggressive, angry, irrational, druggie but you're a lot more than that. You only ever injured the opposing teams because they were going to hurt Kevin. You are always one step ahead. You are far too intelligent to let the possible opinions of the Beartown community ruin your chance with the bass player. You are a natural-born winner, so fight for what you want! Fight for what you deserve. Being yourself isn't so bad, Benji.