Lionel Who? – Creativity

Task 6

Dear Lionel,

After further analyzing your past and current experiences, I would like tell you that I have been able to properly diagnose you. What is preventing you from reaching a state of happiness is the fact that you have never been able to develop your own identity. From your childhood in the orphanage, you have always looked up to Mr. Minna. He in a way was your only true role model, which has caused you to internalized his traits and characteristics. This situation went on until you were a teenager when Mr. Minna had to leave New York. During that important period of life, instead of immersing yourself amongst other students to observe and learn from them, you secluded yourself in the library.  This ordeal has not taught you to develop nor gain the knowledge on how to deal with the different emotions. What you know is what you observed from Mr. Minna, which was brief and not detailed enough to get you to a point in life where you can be independent. In order to be able to be happy, you would need to do some soul searching to find yourself and just learn to accept who you are as a person.

Task 7

Frank Minna is dead.

Lionel becomes Frank Minna

Lionel is lost soul.

Gilbert is in jail

Danny does not give a damn

Tony goes alone.

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.

The dialogue in Motherless Brooklyn, is really interesting. At times it is innapropriate, random, hilarious and dark. There are many times in the novel where there is a build-up of a certain tone or ambiance i.e. seriousness then all of a sudden Lionel will have a tic that is out-of-place to break the tension. Personally, it made the book more enjoyable. The bursts of random dialogue kept me on my toes and made me laugh on every occasion whether the line was about sex, death or a simply a bad joke. The dialouges that were hilarious were mostly Lionel’s tics but also the reactions on secondary characters to these tics.

I believe that developing the secondary characters could add significant depth to the story. This novel focuses mainly on Lionel’s experiences, interesting as it is, it would be fun to see what makes Frank Minna tic as well the the other Minna men. We have very superficial knowledge about how they are. There are bits of descriptions about Gilbert, Danny and Tony but we never get too know them as well as we do Lionel. They play an important role seeing as they are the only family Lionel’s got. Another area that could be explored is Minna’s relationship with Matricardi and Rockaforte. Readers are aware that there used to be a relationship but that seems to have been strained. Another unknown to the readers in regards to the two brothers is the role they had in forcing Frank Minna to leave Brooklyn for a certain period of time. He leaves and comes back with a wife and no brother. As of right now, what we have is Lionel Essrog’s point of view as well as the knowledge he gained but it is not enough to get a clear image of the situation that has been in front of him his whole life as a Minna men. There are more unanswered questions in Lionel’s life than he has ever gotten answers.

Melvin Buquerente


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