Underdogs, Outcasts and Loners
Monday, October 3th 2016
The book Motherless Brooklyn is about Lionel Essrog. His Tourettes syndrome, provides an very interesting dialogue to the novel. During the novel, Lionel faces several conflicts that show how it must be hard for him to deal with it. I think the movie should focus on the ‘“what the major core conflict of the story is and why or how this occurs. This should include the narrator’s inner conflict.” I think the novel is about Lionel conflicts. The major core conflict of the story is him trying to find out the killer of Frank Mina and and the inner conflict is Lionel trying to find love. We should focus on these two conflicts, because the book is about that.
As we know in the novel, Lionel seems not really to be respected by others. His tics develop a fear to others but he seems to be in control; he says ‘Now my tics were quieted-stress one thing, animal fear another, as when an airplane land shakily… I controlled things I didn’t…My Tourettes was overwhelmed’ (17) and describes his disorder as ‘One big lifetime of a tag’ (5). JEFF’S NOTE: THESE ARE GREAT QUOTES TO INCLUDE. AFTER QUOTES, YOU MUST DISCUSS THEM: WHAT DOES THE IMAGER OF AN AIRPLANE LANDING SHAKILY TELL YOU? HOW IS HE DESCRIBING HIMSELF? WHY IS IT INTERESTING THAT HE DESCRIBES HIS LIFE AS A GAME OF TAG. DISCUSS THE QUOTES YOU INCLUDE. When Lionel meets Frank, he seems to change; Frank was his mentor and his bestfriend. He says ‘My symptoms loves him ‘(85) , we can see how Frank was important for him and he loves him. It was the first during his life, Lionel feels comfortable with someone and seems to forgot his disorder with him. So he has lot of respect for him, but after the death of Frank, the main conflict of the story starts, while he was interrogated by cops he says’ I’ll catch de killer. That’s all I give you.’ (115). We can see Lionel doesn’t want to solve Frank’s death with other Mina men. This quote says to the readers he is the man that will solve Frank’s death and that he is ready to take the role to figure who killed Frank. After Frank’ death, his brother Tony got killed also and there is another quote showing how important Frank and Tony was for Lionel: “The Minna brothers are a part of me deep in my grain, deeper than mere behavior, deeper even in regret, Frank because he gave me my life and Gerard because, though I hardly knew him, I took his away”(310). I think this quote shows perfectly how Frank and his brother changed Lionel life and for him, solve Frank’s death means a lot. Frank and Tony death as leave a big hole for Lionel, because Lionel was becoming to accept his disorder and when he lost them, he seems to be really hard for him . After he seems to figure out the murder of Frank ‘ Gerard Minna lives on East Eighty-fourth Street, in a Zendo. Under another name. He’s responsible for Frank’s death ‘ (285). Finally, Lionel figures out the murder of Frank, that was very important for him because justice has been done for Frank but at the end, he says ‘“The ghosts I felt sorriest for weren’t the dead ones. I’d imagined Frank and Tony were mine to protect, but I’d been wrong. I knew it now”. (311). This quote shows that Lionel realized that he needs to move on and a certain way that they deserved their death. For sure Lionel was unhappy to know that Frank and Tony were doing things that they shouldn’t never do but he couldn’t confess because they were to significant in Lionel’s life. So, the main conflict of the novel was Lionel to solve his boss death and seems to solve it and in another way was surprised to know that his boss was involved in stealing money with his brother.
For his Inner conflict, I think is Lionel’s that did not find love. During the novel, Lionel always wanted to be respected and seems really to be respected by Kimmery. Lionel’s relationship with Kimmery was different with others characters. Kimmery was trying Lionel as a ‘ normal ‘ person, in other words treats like a person, not like a bizarre person but she says ‘ No , but I mean stranger in a good way, too’ (211) This line tells us that Kimmery understand his disorder and accepts him for who he is. Kimmery doesn’t fully understand Lionel’s condition but she wants to discover this real side of him. Lionel really appreciated that and he says ‘“Kimmery leaned closer, comforting the cat, not me. But I felt comforted.”(211) He seems to be more comfortable with her and more connected with her. Lionel makes this realization and understands that he enjoys Kimmery’s presence because she treats him as an equal and more importantly, for once in his life, not a freak. Both Lionel and Kimmery have a mutual sense of protection towards each other. So we can see Lionel seems to really liked Kimmery. We thought Lionel will be happy for the rest of his life because he find love but at the end of the novel, Kimmery says ‘So that thing that happened with us, it was just, you know –a thing”(309) This was absolutely an disappointment for Lionel because he really thought Kimmery was the girl for him and can have been something serious. Unfortunately, the feelings weren’t mutual. I think that was really hard to accept for Lionel, because after the death of his boss, Lionel put on Kimmery to overcome the death of Frank and to know that she’s coming back with Stephen, for sure Lionel took badly. He really thought they were something coming up and I think this was his inner conflict, because he wanted someone in his life that can he look up to or just be a friend because he lost Frank but it didn’t work.
I think I have the basic answer for the question ‘“what the major core conflict of the story is and why or how this occurs. This should include the narrator’s inner conflict.” Maybe I need to change some quotes or explain more in detail what means those quotes but in general I think it is good. So, like I said at the beginning of the essay, the film should focus on these two conflicts because I think during the novel, the main resolution for Lionel was to solve Frank’s death and to find love.
Lethem, Jonathan. Motherless Brooklyn. Vintage Books, 1999