Follow TV Tropes


Literature / After

Go To

"School has become a prison. No one knows why. There's no way to stop it."
—The back cover

After is a Young Adult Literature novel written by Francine Prose.

Tom is a sophomore at Central High, one of the “smart jocks”, a normal guy at a normal school. And during math class, that normalcy shatters. A school the next town over is shot up by angry students, and in the wake of this tragedy, school at Central begins to change. A grief and crisis counselor, Dr Willner, takes over, instituting new rules at every turn. Metal detectors, random searches, a ban on things like chewing gum, hats, even the color red. At first the students make their compromises, but when those who do not comply begin to vanish, Tom realizes that nothing good can come of sacrificing freedom for safety.

Not to be confused with After by Anna Todd, another YA novel with the same title.


Provides examples of:

  • Big Brother Is Watching: Referenced by name after Wilner tells Henry and his parents to meet them on the next day when they're in a totally different town.
  • Brainwashed: The parents are brainwashed into thinking Wilner's security measures are justified by his emails.
  • From Bad to Worse: The new rules get progressively more insane.
  • Insane Troll Logic: The new rules; as things get progressively worse, the school begins banning anything that could possibly be construed as rebellious, surveying everything students do, and even sending rebels to "Operation Turnaround"... all while claiming that it's for their own good.
  • Lovable Jock: Many of the main characters fall into a clique of sorts called the "smart jocks". They are devoted to basketball, but unlike the Dumb Jock clique, they are kind and do reasonably well in school.
  • Advertisement:
  • Missing Mom: Tom's mother is dead.
  • Parental Betrayal: Many, due to their having been brainwashed. Silias's parents are by far the worst; they willingly send Silias to a virtual concentration camp.
  • Politically Correct History: The school slowly starts to try to brainwash the students. One of the protagonist's friends points out that the documentary playing on the bus that day is on World War II, and was stating that the atom bombs were dropped on Japanese wilderness areas. He says, "Dude, Listen to that. I don't think that's true." followed by another friend asking, "How stupid were we?"
  • The Quisling: It's mentioned that some students will report others. Subverted with Rebecca; Tom suspects she might be one, but she was actually the grafitti artist.
  • Released to Elsewhere: Any students who try to fight back get sent to "Operation Turnaround".
  • The Stoner: Silas. Which doesn't end well for him...


How well does it match the trope?

Example of:


Media sources: