Friday, November 7, 2014

An Analysis of Sasha

The reader’s view or the character of Sasha evolves and gains complexity throughout the book, “A Visit from the Goon Squad.” The reader’s view changes from initial dislike to a sort of pity.

Sasha is the first character the reader meets in the book in the chapter, “Found Objects.” When the reader first meets Sasha, he sees her faced with the dilemma of theft. While not hard to resist for a normal person, the reader finds that Sasha is plagued with kleptomania. While at first met with disgust and dismissal, the fact of the kleptomania makes the reader feel a bit of pity towards Sasha. When the reader sees Sasha meet with her therapist, Coz, the reader gets more insight into her condition and mindset. The reader sees Sasha’s self-deprecation and her regret. Yet when Sasha goes back to her place, although trying to hide her ‘found objects’ from Alex, she is privately proud of them.

The reader gets a small glimpse of Sasha in the next chapter, “Gold Cure.” This chapter likely takes place during about the same time as “Found Objects.” Although not serving as the center of the chapter, the reader gets to see Sasha at her jobs, working as assistant to music executive, Bennie Salazar. She is competent and does not let kleptomania or any other issues to reach the surface. She hides her issues well and seems to be good at it.

The next time the reader encounters Sasha, other than some brief cameos, is in the chapter, “Out of Body.” Sasha, here is shown to have some serious issues. She admits to her friend, Rob, that she was a pickpocket and prostitute in Naples. However with a sordid past behind her, she is trying to turn her life around. She is shown to be strong and that she has made her way through a crucible. She is going back to school and is in a stable relationship. These circumstances give the reader hope in Sasha and a pity towards her former life. The reader is then given more insight to her life in Naples and her former life as well in the next chapter, “Goodbye, My Love.”

In, “Goodbye, My Love,” the reader gets more information on Sasha’s mysterious life in Naples. The chapter is told through the point of view of her uncle. Her uncle is searching for her in Naples. He finally finds her and notices that she has a limp. He makes contact and goes with her to a club, where he gets his wallet stolen. He looks for her again where he finds her sad. She reveals that while she has many friends, they all come and go. She lives in a run-down place, and she seems thoroughly unsatisfied.

In that same chapter, the reader also sees Sasha’s childhood. Sasha’s parents would fight often and she would be taken outside by her uncle. She was not raised in a stable household. She was impacted by her parents’ fights. The reader sees some sort of origin for her kleptomania and her want to escape her normal life. By escaping her life and going to Naples, she was forced into prostitution and pickpocketing.

The last chapter that Sasha appears in as a character is “Great Rock and Roll Pauses.” Sasha is shown here married to her college boyfriend, Drew, with two kids, and living in Pakistan. Sasha and Drew have a strained relationship at times; she also has a strained relationship with her daughter, but a good one with her son. Sasha is shown as a normal mom who has shed her former extremes. She shows no signs of kleptomania, depression, or her self-destructive streak. She is just a mom trying to keep her family together.

Sasha is pitiable in her attempt to keep her family together. Sasha is no longer a crazy and depressed youth in Naples, or a recovering self-destructive one in NYU, she is not the kleptomaniacal secretary trying to hide her age. She is a mom, she has had a life that she wants to try to hide from her kids, and she is just trying to raise a family.

1 comment:

  1. I'm liking what you did with this, Joshman. Good job. I wrote a similar analysis myself, actually. Only things I would point out: your last body paragraph and conclusion end with almost the exact same sentence, outside of a few time differences, and, more importantly: I think you meant pitiful, not "pitiable". Anyway, good work, keep it up.