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The History of Love by Nicole Krauss - Essay Example

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This paper sets out to argue for the assertion that The History of Love is largely about the history of loss. The History of Love is a novel that revolves around the lives of three people. …
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The History of Love by Nicole Krauss
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"The History of Love by Nicole Krauss"

Download file to see previous pages The History of Love is a novel that revolves around the lives of three people. One of them is Leo Gursky, an ageing man living in perpetual fear of losing his life and feeling that this will happen unnoticed. He prepares for death in a shabby apartment in downtown Manhattan. The second is Leo, a Jew who made his way out of Poland as the Nazi advanced during the 2nd World War. When the author introduces Gursky, he seems to be weary of life after all that he has lost. While he lived in Poland, he was in love with a girl named Alma, to whom he had written a book and named all the female characters in the book after, a book also called “The History of Love”. However, Leo lost Alma when she moved to America and married someone else after she thought him dead in the Nazi Holocaust. Later on, when Leo moves to America, he leaves this novel to a friend who later tells him that he lost it. Although, Leo is able to survive the Nazi and their war and finally gets to the United States, he does not have anything left. This is because he has lost the woman he loved and the book in which he chronicled all the memorable incidences that happened in his life. The novel arouses a feeling of sympathy for the losses that this kind man has experienced (Kuster 33). Alone in his house, in Manhattan, having lost the son that he loved so much, he is representative of what happens during old age, and what old people go through regarding their memories of loss. Leo finds it impossible to get over his love and loss of Alma and cannot move on with his life. The loss he felt when Alma left was a lot, however, he still loves her as much when she becomes an old woman, losing her life in a hospital as he did when she was eleven years of age. As she dies, Leo is again confronted by loss and he goes to sit by her side every day during after-hours while telling her jokes: “She was tiny and wrinkled and deaf as a door knob. There was so much I should have said…. yet I told her jokes” (Krauss 65). When considering the theme of loss in The History of Love, it is impossible not to notice the way that the author uses language to chronicle the feelings of loss. "She was gone, and all that was left was the space you'd grown around her, like a tree that grows around a fence. For a long time, it remained hollow. Years, maybe, and when at last it was filled again, you knew that the new love you felt for a woman would have been impossible without Alma. If it weren't for her, there would never have been an empty space or the need to fill it" (Krauss 189). The passage in the novel is a stark description of the feeling of loss, as well as the feeling of void after as a distraught Leo Gursky experienced it. After Leo Gursky had settled, in America, he got himself a job as a locksmith at a shop owned and run by his cousin. As the years pass by, Leo Gursky grows old and begins to lose his health in terms of his heart becomes weaker. He becomes lonely and frightened in regards to his unfulfilled life and losses, which he suffers (Kuster 43). He watches on as the son he lost grows up and becomes a renowned writer before he loses him when he grows old and passes away. He has had to do all this from a distance since he lost his son’s love. He earlier stated that he had a son named Isaac who is not aware of his existence. As an old man, Leo attempts to do anything with the aim of making sure that when he dies; he is not forgotten, the memories others have of him are not lost and he does not die as an invisible man. He poses nude for various arts classes, hassles the deliverymen and spills milk at a Starbucks store. He does these to ensure that people remember him and his life does not get lost. He continues with his life, but does not know ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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