Falling Man Themes & Motifs

This Study Guide consists of approximately 31 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Falling Man.
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Trauma

One of the main thematic concerns of the novel is examining the characters’ emotional arcs following the trauma of September 11, for even if most of the characters were not present at the site of the actual attacks, the larger implications of the attacks bear significant effects regarding personal outlook and mental state. Keith, however, was present at the World Trade Center during the attacks, and his trauma is informed both by that experience and by the other after-effects of the destructive attacks. For example, Keith witnessed the death of one of his friends, Rumsey: “He saw the mark on [Rumsey’s] head, an indentation, a gouge mark, deep, exposing raw tissue and nerve” (241). This experience, coupled with the widespread destruction feeling of traumatic danger, functions to alter Keith’s outlook on a rather fundamental level. He feels listless in the days and weeks following the attack...

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This section contains 2,248 words
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Buy the Falling Man Study Guide
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