The Ghost Notebooks Themes & Motifs

Ben Dolnick
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Mortality

The novel examines mortality as a salient source of grief and loss in the human experience. By specifically examining this dynamic through Nick’s perspective, the novel positions Hannah’s death as a thematic locus for human reactions in the face of mortality. Hannah’s death, which occurs near the midpoint of the novel, stands as a dramatic turning point for the narrative. Prior to this moment, Hannah seems to be an integral character who will persist throughout most or all of the narrative. Thus, the seeming suddenness and inexplicability of her death in the narrative simulates the sudden and inexplicable nature of mortality in general. Nick’s reaction to her death further dramatizes this dynamic of loss: “I started wailing, almost screaming, a sound I would never have recognized as coming from me…and I thought, in the part of me that was still observing...

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This section contains 2,424 words
(approx. 7 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy The Ghost Notebooks Study Guide
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