Everything Is Illuminated Essay

Each individual deals with events in their lives in many different ways. Some people are addicted to alcohol, some people cry for years, and some people just forget the past. No matter what the situations are, people all have different ways to cope. In the novel Everything is Illuminated, Jonathan Safran Foer utilizes this theme and applies it to each of his main characters. His characters all have different atrocities, some more so than others. For instance Alex has an abusive father and can only solve his problems threw his newfound love for writing.

Grandpa betrayed his best friend, and we learn from his stories and his neglectance of intimacy. Brod settles her troubles by just persevering and attempting to love and be truthful. All these characters use their experiences and their solution to tie into a bigger picture, and that is the theme of the novel: Different characters use different strategies to settle the past experience, and they do what they can to cope with memories of traumatic experiences. The protagonist of this story, Alex, is a kind childish adult. He is from a family of tour guides, and abusive and elusive figures.

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Alex is told to be a womanizer, being carnal and intimate with many women. “I have many girls, believe me, and they all have different name for me. One dubs me Baby, not because I am a baby, but because she attends to me. Another dubs me All night. Do you want to know why? I have a girl who dubs me Currency, because I disseminate so much currency around her. She licks my chops for it. ” Here is the first information we have on Alex. The audience is automatically making assumptions why it is so important that we know all of his sexual endeavors and his names.

Naming or “dubbing” is something that Alex takes as very important. The point of naming is being identified as an individual and being known. Alex is very protective of his names because it is evident that he is insecure. What other normal, sane person comes up to someone and tells you about their sex life? Only a cocky self conceited one. See, Alex’ situation is justifiable to his cockiness. His family consists of a kind and humble mother, an abusive father, a depressed and non present grandfather, and a little brother that idolizes him.

Alex has many problems and we learn that they stem from his relationship with his father; his dad is known to hit him and verbally abuse him. His father commanded him and his grandfather to take a man around to visit the client’s family roots. On this trip Alex and the client, Jonathan, become good friends and their relationship evolves into long distance writing. Through this writing we see Alex open up and find a place of solitude. Writing has been around since language originated, yet many people do not use its unlimited benefits. Alex uses his writing to get over his troubles and learn about himself.

He is the first character in the novel that we meet that is dealing with his troubles and hardships in a productive way. Although we do not see the immediate affect the writing has on him, we do see him talking about things that he would not talk about if it was not in text. His first and second letter talks about his grandfather and how he is sick and depressed for an unknown reason. This concern and care is something that is simply not seen in his description of himself as a person whose mother gets mad at him for being with his friends too often.

Alex truly is a family man, and is not the womanizing, careless person he wants to be, or at least thinks he wants to be. Alex is not actually spending money on women, but yet saving money for a better life for him and Little Igor, his little brother. These ideas and details would never be exposed to anyone if he did not have a place to put it, which is literature. Letters between the two characters, Alex and Jonathan, are not the only literature Alex is writing, he is also working on a story of his trip with Jonathan. This story helps him recall previous events and reflect on them.

To the reader it is shown that the stories are more of reflections and lessons, where Alex then goes into further detail with his personal letters. Alex is the first character that we see that successfully does something to get over his troubles. His writing truly helps him develop as a character and become truthful to himself, others and pass over the abuse in his past. The next character that is shown to have troubles is Alex’s grandfather. Grandpa is a quiet and sad individual. No one knows what his problem is, yet no one has even asked or attempted to.

It is evident from the start that the Grandpa loves his children, but is not too emotional. We learn that he is tormented by his memories of the war. Alex (also the grandpa’s name) is a fat old man. He recently retired from Heritage Touring, and has been depressed and temperamental ever since his wife’s death from brain cancer two years earlier. He claims he is blind, and he has a seeing-eye dog named Sammy Davis, Junior, Junior. Despite his blindness, he is the driver for Jonathan’s trip. From the description alone we know that the grandfather is a troubled character.

Grandpa is much like his son, and is not afraid to yell at Alex or hit him. The difference with Grandpa is that he is caring. Grandpa led the trip to Trachimbrod with Jonathan and Alex. Grandpa handles his troubles much differently than the rest of the characters, he is quiet and perseveres. Grandpa has something that is making him sad, but he has not shared it with anyone. Grandpa has not been able to become intimate or even conversational with people because of the multiple atrocities. In the novel near the end we learn Grandfathers true story.

Just like the characters depicted in Jonathan’s family, Grandpa was a citizen of Trachimbrod. During World War Two the Nazis came for the Jews. Grandpa’s best friend was a Jew, and Grandpa ratted him out and got him killed. It was told that, “[Grandpa and Herschel] stood next to each other [during the Nazi raid] because that is what friends do in the presence of evil or love. ” Although Grandpa did this to save his family, he still regrets it and will never forgive himself in this life. He lost someone that he loved dearly.

He admits this all to Alex before his suicide. Grandpa coped with his problems in a different and human way. He kept it buried deep inside of him somewhere that even his own kin couldn’t access. Grandpa admits he left his hometown, “Because I did not want your father to grow up so close to death. I did not want him to know of it, and live with it. This is why I never informed him of what occurred. I wanted so much for him to live a good life, without death and without choices and without shame. But I was not a good father, I must inform you. I was the worst father.

I desired to remove him from everything that was bad, but instead I have him badness upon badness. A father is always responsible for how his son is. You must understand. “This passage sums up the whole relationship between all the male figures in Alex’s family. Grandpa was simply a coward, just like his son, and hopefully not like his Grandson. Grandpa dealt with his troubles differently by hiding them and hoping they never rise again. This method was not effective, but so significant. Without Grandpa’s actions, Alex would not be who he is. As Grandpa stated a father is responsible for his son.

Grandpa is responsible for his ill-mannered son and his son is responsible for his brave grandson. Grandpa was only able to admit this after what he has done was solved: Alex stood up to his father and told him to leave. This is when grandpa had is queue to leave this world. Grandpa dealt with his troubles in a horrible way, but it taught the audience a lesson that tied into a theme of the novel. Grandpa dealt with his problems by being quiet and secretive until near death. The last character that we see that has a complex way of dealing with atrocities and troubles is Brod.

She is a character in Jonathan’s book and plays major roles in influencing the readers and developing the themes. Brod was born during a huge accident taking place during her birth. Brod lived as a newborn child and was named a miracle child, none of which Brod knows. Brod was raffled to a kind and caring man named, Yankel. He never told her the truth, but they both knew something was wrong in their relationship. Brod was never able to love him with her whole heart. Brod is described like, “She was like a drowning person, flailing, reaching for anything that might save her.

Her life was an urgent, desperate struggle to justify her life” Brod knew something was wrong and was not able to fix it, because the truth was not exposed. Brod was not able to love until truth was exposed by her husband, the Kolker. Brod had a way of persevering like no other. She was able to put things aside and forget, but also learn from them. Brod expressed herself in a way that most people wouldn’t understand. She did not have anyone to talk to, or she did not utilize the people that did care. This is not always the right thing to do, but it worked for her.

This complex attitude provides great support to the theme of how people deal with their issues, and how they cope with atrocities. Later in her marriage the Kolker is struck by a blade in the head and survives, but this leaves him with huge mood swing and violent attacks. Brod perseveres through these accounts until his death. She continues to sleep with him; she continues to take his beatings. She does this through love, but does not admit it until his death. Brod is truly a survivor, not many people can persevere through so much hardship.

The dial said, “Every widow wakes one morning, perhaps after years of pure and unwavering grieving, to realize she slept a good night’s sleep, and will be able to eat breakfast, and doesn’t hear her husband’s ghost all the time, but only some of the time… Every parent who loses a child finds a way to laugh again”. This passage explains Brod’s future, she will find a way to laugh and she will persevere and only sometimes be sad. Traumatic events such as her numerous rapes, father’s death, and husband death, can change a way that a person lives and can influence their future.

Brod changes her life by just staying strong and never giving up just like the miracle of her birth. Alex, Grandpa, and Brod all lend themselves to the complexity of the theme. All people have different ways to cope with atrocities, and how they deal with them defines the person. Alex uses writing as a mean of forgetting and learning from his past. Grandpa is silent and just reflects at all times. Lastly, Brod masters perseverance, she is able to put aside her memories and reflect when needed. This complex theme is something that is successfully represented throughout the story.

Each individual deals with events in their lives in many different ways. Some people are addicted to alcohol, some people cry for years, and some people just forget the past. No matter what the situations are, people all have different ways to cope. In the novel Everything is Illuminated, Jonathan Safran Foer utilizes this theme and applies it to each of his main characters. His characters all have different atrocities, some more so than others. For instance Alex has an abusive father and can only solve his problems threw his newfound love for writing.

Grandpa betrayed his best friend, and we learn from his stories and his neglectance of intimacy. Brod settles her troubles by just persevering and attempting to love and be truthful. All these characters use their experiences and their solution to tie into a bigger picture, and that is the theme of the novel: Different characters use different strategies to settle the past experience, and they do what they can to cope with memories of traumatic experiences. The protagonist of this story, Alex, is a kind childish adult. He is from a family of tour guides, and abusive and elusive figures.

Alex is told to be a womanizer, being carnal and intimate with many women. “I have many girls, believe me, and they all have different name for me. One dubs me Baby, not because I am a baby, but because she attends to me. Another dubs me All night. Do you want to know why? I have a girl who dubs me Currency, because I disseminate so much currency around her. She licks my chops for it. ” Here is the first information we have on Alex. The audience is automatically making assumptions why it is so important that we know all of his sexual endeavors and his names.

Naming or “dubbing” is something that Alex takes as very important. The point of naming is being identified as an individual and being known. Alex is very protective of his names because it is evident that he is insecure. What other normal, sane person comes up to someone and tells you about their sex life? Only a cocky self conceited one. See, Alex’ situation is justifiable to his cockiness. His family consists of a kind and humble mother, an abusive father, a depressed and non present grandfather, and a little brother that idolizes him.

Alex has many problems and we learn that they stem from his relationship with his father; his dad is known to hit him and verbally abuse him. His father commanded him and his grandfather to take a man around to visit the client’s family roots. On this trip Alex and the client, Jonathan, become good friends and their relationship evolves into long distance writing. Through this writing we see Alex open up and find a place of solitude. Writing has been around since language originated, yet many people do not use its unlimited benefits. Alex uses his writing to get over his troubles and learn about himself.

He is the first character in the novel that we meet that is dealing with his troubles and hardships in a productive way. Although we do not see the immediate affect the writing has on him, we do see him talking about things that he would not talk about if it was not in text. His first and second letter talks about his grandfather and how he is sick and depressed for an unknown reason. This concern and care is something that is simply not seen in his description of himself as a person whose mother gets mad at him for being with his friends too often.

Alex truly is a family man, and is not the womanizing, careless person he wants to be, or at least thinks he wants to be. Alex is not actually spending money on women, but yet saving money for a better life for him and Little Igor, his little brother. These ideas and details would never be exposed to anyone if he did not have a place to put it, which is literature. Letters between the two characters, Alex and Jonathan, are not the only literature Alex is writing, he is also working on a story of his trip with Jonathan. This story helps him recall previous events and reflect on them.

To the reader it is shown that the stories are more of reflections and lessons, where Alex then goes into further detail with his personal letters. Alex is the first character that we see that successfully does something to get over his troubles. His writing truly helps him develop as a character and become truthful to himself, others and pass over the abuse in his past. The next character that is shown to have troubles is Alex’s grandfather. Grandpa is a quiet and sad individual. No one knows what his problem is, yet no one has even asked or attempted to.

It is evident from the start that the Grandpa loves his children, but is not too emotional. We learn that he is tormented by his memories of the war. Alex (also the grandpa’s name) is a fat old man. He recently retired from Heritage Touring, and has been depressed and temperamental ever since his wife’s death from brain cancer two years earlier. He claims he is blind, and he has a seeing-eye dog named Sammy Davis, Junior, Junior. Despite his blindness, he is the driver for Jonathan’s trip. From the description alone we know that the grandfather is a troubled character.

Grandpa is much like his son, and is not afraid to yell at Alex or hit him. The difference with Grandpa is that he is caring. Grandpa led the trip to Trachimbrod with Jonathan and Alex. Grandpa handles his troubles much differently than the rest of the characters, he is quiet and perseveres. Grandpa has something that is making him sad, but he has not shared it with anyone. Grandpa has not been able to become intimate or even conversational with people because of the multiple atrocities. In the novel near the end we learn Grandfathers true story.

Just like the characters depicted in Jonathan’s family, Grandpa was a citizen of Trachimbrod. During World War Two the Nazis came for the Jews. Grandpa’s best friend was a Jew, and Grandpa ratted him out and got him killed. It was told that, “[Grandpa and Herschel] stood next to each other [during the Nazi raid] because that is what friends do in the presence of evil or love. ” Although Grandpa did this to save his family, he still regrets it and will never forgive himself in this life. He lost someone that he loved dearly.

He admits this all to Alex before his suicide. Grandpa coped with his problems in a different and human way. He kept it buried deep inside of him somewhere that even his own kin couldn’t access. Grandpa admits he left his hometown, “Because I did not want your father to grow up so close to death. I did not want him to know of it, and live with it. This is why I never informed him of what occurred. I wanted so much for him to live a good life, without death and without choices and without shame. But I was not a good father, I must inform you. I was the worst father.

I desired to remove him from everything that was bad, but instead I have him badness upon badness. A father is always responsible for how his son is. You must understand. “This passage sums up the whole relationship between all the male figures in Alex’s family. Grandpa was simply a coward, just like his son, and hopefully not like his Grandson. Grandpa dealt with his troubles differently by hiding them and hoping they never rise again. This method was not effective, but so significant. Without Grandpa’s actions, Alex would not be who he is. As Grandpa stated a father is responsible for his son.

Grandpa is responsible for his ill-mannered son and his son is responsible for his brave grandson. Grandpa was only able to admit this after what he has done was solved: Alex stood up to his father and told him to leave. This is when grandpa had is queue to leave this world. Grandpa dealt with his troubles in a horrible way, but it taught the audience a lesson that tied into a theme of the novel. Grandpa dealt with his problems by being quiet and secretive until near death. The last character that we see that has a complex way of dealing with atrocities and troubles is Brod.

She is a character in Jonathan’s book and plays major roles in influencing the readers and developing the themes. Brod was born during a huge accident taking place during her birth. Brod lived as a newborn child and was named a miracle child, none of which Brod knows. Brod was raffled to a kind and caring man named, Yankel. He never told her the truth, but they both knew something was wrong in their relationship. Brod was never able to love him with her whole heart. Brod is described like, “She was like a drowning person, flailing, reaching for anything that might save her.

Her life was an urgent, desperate struggle to justify her life” Brod knew something was wrong and was not able to fix it, because the truth was not exposed. Brod was not able to love until truth was exposed by her husband, the Kolker. Brod had a way of persevering like no other. She was able to put things aside and forget, but also learn from them. Brod expressed herself in a way that most people wouldn’t understand. She did not have anyone to talk to, or she did not utilize the people that did care. This is not always the right thing to do, but it worked for her.

This complex attitude provides great support to the theme of how people deal with their issues, and how they cope with atrocities. Later in her marriage the Kolker is struck by a blade in the head and survives, but this leaves him with huge mood swing and violent attacks. Brod perseveres through these accounts until his death. She continues to sleep with him; she continues to take his beatings. She does this through love, but does not admit it until his death. Brod is truly a survivor, not many people can persevere through so much hardship.

The dial said, “Every widow wakes one morning, perhaps after years of pure and unwavering grieving, to realize she slept a good night’s sleep, and will be able to eat breakfast, and doesn’t hear her husband’s ghost all the time, but only some of the time… Every parent who loses a child finds a way to laugh again”. This passage explains Brod’s future, she will find a way to laugh and she will persevere and only sometimes be sad. Traumatic events such as her numerous rapes, father’s death, and husband death, can change a way that a person lives and can influence their future.

Brod changes her life by just staying strong and never giving up just like the miracle of her birth. Alex, Grandpa, and Brod all lend themselves to the complexity of the theme. All people have different ways to cope with atrocities, and how they deal with them defines the person. Alex uses writing as a mean of forgetting and learning from his past. Grandpa is silent and just reflects at all times. Lastly, Brod masters perseverance, she is able to put aside her memories and reflect when needed. This complex theme is something that is successfully represented throughout the story.

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