And so we meet Ove. Such a charming fellow, isn’t he?
Our first impression of Ove is quite negative and we witness his tirade at the Apple Store. The author impresses upon us that Ove views the world in very definite terms- good/bad and right/wrong. Some might say his character is quite unforgiving of what he perceives as flaws in others, but Ove looks at it as having ‘strong principles’. What do you think about a person who chooses to view the world in this manner? What would be the pros and cons, and the consequences? Have you ever known anyone like Ove? What would motivate someone to have this viewpoint and act in this way? Or is it just a personality trait. (Or flaw?)
We are also introduced to the cat, a quite mangy and worn looking feline (the Cat Annoyance) as well as Ove’s neighbors. He refers to them as the Lanky One, the Blond Weed, the Pregnant Foreign One and so forth, reducing them all to physical descriptions. What is achieved in the story by Ove’s referring to them in this way? Does it imply a distance between Ove and the other characters? Is this effective in the development of Ove’s character?
To delve further into Ove’s personality, we come to find that he likes useful stuff, “Stuff with a function.” Things like nuts, bolts and hooks…
(What is up with that hook? We’ll be figuring that out…)
Do people in general need to feel useful and have a purpose in life? What is it to lead a dignified life, and can this have a different meaning to different people? We see that Ove has an elaborate routine each morning and he is the self-appointed guardian of his housing complex. What does this mean to Ove?
Until next time!