A Visit From The Goon Squad Essay

1629 Words Dec 15th, 2016 7 Pages
Looking Forward Rather than Behind
“I heard what he had gone through, and would continue to go through until he came to rest in earth.” (Baldwin 121) A Visit From the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan and “Sonny’s Blues” by James Baldwin both work as literary reminders that living in the past is not emotionally healthy, and that pain from the past permeates into present day life. The texts beg the question: Can the past ever be fully forgotten or overcome? These two pieces of literature include the events from the past that change each of the characters in an emotional way. Egan and Baldwin created stories that offer similarities to each other because of the textual evidence that reminiscing in the past leaves characters emotionally distressed.
Egan’s critically acclaimed novel, A Visit From the Goon Squad, offers different perspectives that gives readers more textual evidence about how events in the past have shaped what the characters become by the end of the story. Egan showcases emotional distress when creating the stories that included Lou’s son, Rolph, committing suicide due to the constant feeling of not being enough for his father, Lou offers signs of past experiences due to his drug struggle and numerous divorces, and how Drew’s emotional state was changed after Rob drowned. On the other hand, James Baldwin shows emotional distress through Sonny’s inability to connect with his family resulting in heroin use and Sonny’s brother’s inability to take care of Sonny in the…

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