The Corrections Summary & Study Guide

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 The Corrections.
This section contains 469 words
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The Corrections Summary & Study Guide Description

The Corrections Summary & Study Guide includes comprehensive information and analysis to help you understand the book. This study guide contains the following sections:

This detailed literature summary also contains Topics for Discussion and a Free Quiz on The Corrections by Jonathan Franzen.

The Corrections by Jonathan Franzen is the story of a typical Midwestern family that is confronted with the issues of old age and illness. The Lamberts, Enid and Alfred, have grown children living on the East Coast who they want to spend Christmas at their St. Jude home. She wants one last Christmas in St. Jude and this sets off a whole chain of events.

Enid and Alfred have looked forward to their retirement. Alfred had looked forward to hunting, fishing and recreation but he just sits in his chair in the basement. Enid always nags at him, telling him what all of their friends are doing and what she thinks he should be doing. Alfred has been diagnosed with Parkinson's disease and has problems controlling his body and motor skills. He keeps telling her that he cannot and has no interest in any of those things.

The Lamberts are embarking on a luxury cruise to Canada, and fly to New York to spend the afternoon with their son, Chip and his sister Denise. Chip, who lost a position in academia due to his affair with a student, is now a free lance writer. He is more interested in making corrections to his screenplay than he is in spending time with his parents. While checking with his literary agent, he is introduced to Gitanas, the estranged Lithuanian husband of his mistress Julia. He accepts a position to work on Internet websites in Lithuania that defraud investors. He is off to Lithuania that evening without ever saying goodbye to his parents.

Denise is left to entertain her parents while trying to make excuses for Chip. She is an executive chef at an exclusive Philadelphia restaurant called The Generator and she sees her parents safely aboard the cruise ship and then returns to Philadelphia where she is romantically involved with both her boss and his wife. She is fired.

Oldest son Gary also lives in a Philadelphia suburb. The invitation to spend Christmas in St. Jude almost causes him and his wife Caroline to divorce. She and the two older children refuse to go there. In the end, Gary decides to go with youngest son Jonah who decides not to go at the last minute. Gary goes alone intent on having his parents sell their house before it depreciates more.

The cruise that Enid had looked forward to so much turns out to be a disaster. Alfred has an accident and has to be hospitalized.

Christmas is even more of a disaster due to Alfred's deteriorating condition, but Chip makes it home from Lithuania and Enid and Alfred have their Christmas in St. Jude with their three children.

This book contains elements of both tragedy and comedy that the reader will enjoy. It is lengthy yet entertaining.

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