Part 1- Pattern
The pattern has to do with the use of time and aging
• On page 54 Rhea is looking at Lou picture. “Lou looks so happy surrounded by his kids like any normal dad that I can’t believe that this Lou with us is the same Lou”.
• Again on page 57 Rhea thought. “if I’d pulled away from Lou and fought the garbage throwers, would Bennie have settled foe me like Scotty settled for Alice”
• On page 63 Lou interaction with his son Rolph. “If he was an introspective man he would understand years ago that his son is the one person in the world with power to soothe him”.
• Page 65 “he too, will love and desire her, and she will feel maternal toward him, though she isn’t old enough to be her mother.”
Part 2 – Analysis
A visit from the goon squad is a fiction novel that uses time and aging to support the claim that we are leaving in a world where generations are separated by the lack of human connections. Young generation accepts this single-dimension view as a break from the old to the new and also from the then to the now. The novel uses time to illustrate the complexity of new growing old and the now soon to be the then.
Indeed the author uses time to create imagery of different sensations throughout the novel. The reader is attentive since he becomes part of the action that was created. The scene of Rhea interacting with Jocelyn while looking at Lou’s happy family picture, suggests Jocelyne expectation of a relationship with Lou with a happy ending. Jocelyn wants the relations of the past to be present. Rhea reference of Lou looking happy and looking like any other family outlining Lou in the past is the same as the L-ou now. We are lead to question if Lou changed or not. Is he the same Lou that is staging a happy normal family when in fact is lonely. Jocelyn is torn with her feeling when she expresses that theirs is too much and I feel like something is ending. We get the feeling that the new image that Jocelyn is dreaming will be ending and become old. Again supporting the idea that the new grows to be old.
Again we see Rhea idea of pulling away from Lou, an event that happens in a recent past, could have made a difference. The author stimulates our curiosity by creating this image of a relationship between Rhea and Bennie. This image was created with Rhea imagination of winning Bennie by standing in the fight at the concert. This also leads to a scenario where the now becomes then when we realize the fact that Scotty married Alice and got a divorce. The future of the relation was bound to be dead as the then becomes now.
‘Lou puts his arm around Rolph’ depict a father and son bond. ‘If he was an introspective man’, he would have realized then that his son had ‘the power to soothe him”. The realization now of the power of his son reminded him that his son may be like him and a feeling of nostalgia. How different will his life would have been had he known this earlier. The question of the now becomes dark when we realize that Rolph commits suicide. We could assume that if that bond existed then Rolph’s suicide may not have occurred or not. The writer uses time as a tool to entice readers imagination of what could have happened in the future if the past was different.
Time is also similar to aging in this novel. Mindi’s age was challenged with the task of maintaining family structure throughout the African Trip. Mindi describes herself as a new girlfriend seeking acceptance from the children of a twice divorce man. This acceptance requires the children validation through affection towards her. The affection consist of love and desire toward the surrogate mother will provide a maternal feeling that will create the structure needed for the excursion. The word old describing the reason why Mindi felt incapable of such task show a contrast to the description of a new girlfriend. It is suggested that age is a qualifier to be a good mother. Age alone is not a maternal quality. Love, caring, and responsibility is another quality that Mindi lacks.
The idea of time and aging are tools that the author used to convey the message. We travel through a journey of disjointed time to broaden the view and perspectives of that relationship. Time is used to give the user a hint of the future in addition to understanding the complexity of these relationships. The novel also uses time as a reference to understand old and new technology.
Part 3 – Question for exam.
How does Egan use technology in the novel?