Motherless Brooklyn

Task #6

Dear Lionel,

I’ve been listening very carefully to everything you’ve been explaining to me and I’ve come to a conclusion on how to fix your happiness. I realize that you are stopping yourself from being happy . No one else can judge your happiness because it’s your life. I have a task for you. Everyday for around 21 days, I want you to write down 3 things you are grateful for. After this exercise I want you to do 3 things per day that make you happy, for as many days as you like. When I mean things that make you happy it can be seeing a movie or seeing a friend you haven’t seen in a long time or even something so small as eating a chocolate bar. After these exercises I want you to see that you are in charge of your own happiness and that in life some people might make you feel like crap but in the end, you are the one who will make yourself happy again. Once you can take care of yourself, your connections with other people will be much easier. They will see your confidence and accept you for who you are.


Lionel a lost soul

Who cannot control his mind

Will never be free

A soul never free

will become withered with pain

Please set me free

Task #3

  • The world and setting of the story.
  • The secondary characters.
  • Lionel Essrog: what’s the most interesting or compelling aspect of his character? Who would you choose to play him, and why?
  • The major core conflict of the story and why or how this occurs. This should include the narrator’s inner conflict.
  • A few key scenes.
  • The dialogue.
  • The language. This can include Lionel’s narration, and most interestingly, his verbal tics.
  • The major overarching theme of the book. What kind of universal human truth does this novel suggest?
  • The tone of the book. The overall feeling or mood.
  • Perhaps there’s another aspect you’d like to talk about that’s not on the list? Pitch it to me.

The language in this novel is I find the most important aspect of this book, mainly because of Lionel’s verbal tics. If Lionel didn’t have these tics in the novel, I feel like the novel would be quite boring. These tics bring a type of tone to the story and gives the reader an idea of what it’s like living with tourette’s. His verbal tics are also what gives this story it’s humour. Most people would think that laughing at these scenes would be cruel, but in reality the author wants us to laugh at these scenes because he wants to portray the idea that a person with tourette’s is not a freak or less of a human. The another wants us to see that people with syndromes are exactly that; people.

Another aspect I would use is the overarching theme of the book. I find that this novel is a good expression of human truth. People view other’s who have a disability as weird or different ,  but in reality who isn’t weird or different? We aren’t all the same and we are all different in some type of way. Lionel does have a syndrome that does make him a little more different than other people but when it comes down to it, he is a person who has feelings and emotions. He likes to do things all of us do and the only thing that differs him from us is the way he expresses himself.

Lionel’s conflict seems to be himself. He feels like he has a problem being accepted by others. In the novel we see that other characters accept him, but as a freak show. He is never referred to as a man or as a friend, he is always referred to as freak show or by his first and last name. Now acceptance is something Lionel wants but it comes in different forms. I feel like the one he is lacking is an attachment with someone. He has his three friends and people he can communicate with but he is lacking a deep bond . When we look at Kimmery and Lionel , we see that they have a type of connection that he wants with someone,he wants something intimate. When he is with Kimmery, his tics almost disappear because he is focused on how she makes him feel and doesn’t think of anything else.


Siobhan McDonagh








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