Characterization - Will Freeman
One of the main themes of the novel is to realize that complete emotional distance from others, is not sustainable in the long term.
This is clearly shown through the development in Will Freeman. At first, he was so convinced that the only way to live a fantastic life, was to take distance to any sign of responsibilities and real interaction with others.
He had never experienced helping others because he had always done things that only were an advantage for himself. Will was absorbed in a superficial way of life because he was so comfortable with the income from his father - he never had to worry.
He mindset was childish, and he decided to join a single parents’ group, just for the purpose of meeting women. His vision of an successful lifestyle meant avoiding relations and real friendships, which led him to achieving absolut nothing with his life - he was lonely. After all, Will did not even know, what he was doing with his life. He was just living in a dream world.
However, everything changed when Marcus became a friend of his. A boy who lives alone with his single, depressed, suicidal mother who is not often around to support him and give him the help that he needs. Marcus is way too young to have to deal and take care of his depressed mother.
With the genuine, kind and caring personality that he has, Will’s vision of an successful life had him question if caring for others, really was that bad?
Will realizes, that his interaction with others has deeper effects and feelings than running around from women to women.
Marcus’s personality is a the perfect foil for Will’s world-weary attitude. Will teaches Marcus how to seem cool at school, and Marcus teaches Will to connect with peers and form friendships, even relationships, with them.