1. The Chamber starts off with Sam Cayhall and Rollie Wedge planting a bomb in Marvin Kramer's office. Marvin's is a Jewish activist leader during the civil rights movement, and both Sam and Rollie are members of the Ku Klux Klan. The bomb goes off, killing both of Marvin's young children and leaving Marvin as an amputee. The bomb's publicity destroys the small town of Greenville, Mississippi. Time goes on towards Adam Hall, Sam's grandson.
Adam's father kills himself in 1980 when he was only 16. This leaves a big void in Adam's life and creates a hunger for family in his life. However, he goes on to study law at Harvard following his undergraduate degree from Michigan. Adam begs his firm, Kravitz and Bane, to let him take on his grandfather's case as a pro-bono case. The firm reluctantly lets him because they believe that it will create positive publicity for their firm.
Adam goes to live with his best friend, his Aunt Lee in Memphis. Adam then meets his notorious grandfather, Sam Cayhall, on death row. Adam discovers how wretched and mean Sam is, but still is determined to save his life. Along the way Adam meets friends and various enemies.
He meets a friend in: Sergeant Packer, Nora Stark, and Garner Goodman. He meets enemies in: Lucas Mann, Governor McAllister, and Colonel Nugent. Adam berates Sam with questions trying to discover new evidence on the case to help his appeals. His Aunt Lee helps by telling family secrets and past stories that lead to other clues.
During these stories, Lee breaks down several times as she confronts her graphic and disturbing past. During this time, Governor McAllister and Lucas Mann, along with their team of lawyers, are working hard to put a stop to Adam's various appeals. However, Nora Stark, McAllister's personal assistant takes a liking towards Adam. She helps him to discover the Sovereignty Commission inside the Library of congress's restricted files. This lead to Adam discovering Sam's accomplice, Rollie Wedge. Adam asks Sam about him, but Sam refuses to talk about him because he vowed to a vow of silence for the Klan.
Adam thinks that his grandfather is crazy because he is taking the blame for a crime that he did not do. He discovers that Rollie planted the bomb and set the fuse while Sam was the look out and drove the get-away car. Sam comes clean, as his time with Adam has softened him up a little. Sam says that he may not be guilty for this crime, but he has violently killed so many "Jew bastards" and "niggers" during his horrendous life as a Klan member that he is now getting his just due. There is nothing Adam can do without more information. In the meantime, Adam has exists of all his appeals and the time towards Sam's execution is ticking down.
Adam visits Mrs. Kramer, now old and lonely, to plea for an act of mercy to swap Sam's death sentence for life in prison. She refuses to do saying that Sam deserves to die for his sins. By the time Adam locate Rollie, it is too late and the death sentence verdict cannot be reversed. Governor McAllister flies in to Memphis to witness the event and to give a speech on how justice was served. This boosts his popularity and makes him appear more powerful than he actually is.
Sam spends his final minutes with Adam, giving him two letters of repentance. One letter is addressed to Mrs. Kramer and the other to an African family whose father he killed. Sam is executed through the gas chamber while Adam runs from the row with the sorrow of his grandfather's death on his conscience. He meets up with Aunt Lee, and they both express their feelings for the changed Sam.
However, they both move on with a new sense of life. With the long history and presence of the Klan in their family tree now dead, they both look forward to the future optimistically. 2. One theme created during the story is: "what goes around comes around." This is because Sam does not deserve to receive the death penalty for what he was caught for, an accomplice to a murder.
He deserves to live out his life in prison. However, Sam feels that he is getting his due for the people he killed earlier in his life. Thus, the author creates the theme "what goes around comes around" by having Sam executed at the end of the book. 3. My favorite part of the book was watching Sam slowly convert into a better person by taking responsibility for his sins. My favorite part is the conversation between Adam and Sam when Sam confesses his belief that he deserves to die.
This is my favorite belief because it helps to prove my point in opposition towards the death penalty. I believe that all people can eventually reverse their ways, and make amends with God. 4. I believe that this is a very good book for a variety of reasons.
The book has a great plot with many interesting sub-plots. It helps me gain a look into the cutthroat life of being a lawyer, especially a lawyer with a client on death row. I also like the book because it does a good job of exploring different opinions and sides on the death penalty issue. Lastly, I like this book because it gets better as you read deeper into the book, thus making it more interesting to read as time went on. 5.
The title is fairly simple to explain. John Grisham choose to name the book The Chamber because the book is written around the death penalty including one type of execution; death by the gas chamber. At the end of the book, Sam Cayhall dies from the lethal gas, and thus the title The Chamber is very fitting.