A Visit from the Goon Squad

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Alison Blake Character Analysis

The daughter of Sasha and Drew, Alison is a stubborn young woman who keeps a journal compiled of PowerPoint slides. She has tremendous love for her brother, Lincoln, and her father, but struggles to identify with her mother. She keeps notes of all of her mother’s annoying habits, and believes it is her job to torture Sasha. She worries that things in her life are falling apart.

Alison Blake Quotes in A Visit from the Goon Squad

The A Visit from the Goon Squad quotes below are all either spoken by Alison Blake or refer to Alison Blake . For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Time and Memory Theme Icon
). Note: all page and citation info for the quotes below refers to the Anchor Books edition of A Visit from the Goon Squad published in 2011.
Chapter 12 Quotes

Mom makes sculptures in the desert out of trash and our old toys. Eventually her sculptures fall apart, which is “part of the process.”

Related Characters: Alison Blake (speaker), Sasha Blake
Page Number: 242
Explanation and Analysis:

Alison describes her mother’s (Sasha’s) sculptures in this moment. Sasha makes art out of found objects, which is also the title of the novel’s first chapter, “Found Objects.” Sasha has channeled her addiction to stealing into an art form, which has allowed her to find a new sense of meaning, pointing to the potentially redemptive quality of art. The fact that Sasha builds the sculptures knowing that they will fall apart also suggests an acceptance of time and the unavoidability of decay and ruin. In light of this new understanding, it is clear that Sasha has better come to terms with time’s effects as well as with her own identity, and has finally discovered a way to live her life more authentically.

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Conduit: A Rock-and-Roll Suicide, by Jules Jones. Mom bought the book, but she never mentions it. It’s about a fat rock star who wants to die onstage, but ends up recovering and owning a dairy farm. There’s a picture of Mom on page 128…Mom’s mouth is smiling, but her eyes are sad. She looks like someone I want to know, or maybe even be.

Related Characters: Alison Blake (speaker), Sasha Blake, Bosco, Jules Jones
Page Number: 258
Explanation and Analysis:

The book Alison mentions here provides a glimpse into her mother’s past. The book calls back to the chapter “A to B”, which highlights Bosco’s decision to go on his “suicide tour” and Jules’ desire to document it. In “A to B” these characters seem completely ruined—Jules by his mental illness and Bosco by his alcoholism and cancer—but the presence of the book here suggests that both of these characters have found some kind of redemption.

Sasha’s lack of interest in the book suggests that she wants to put the troubles of her past behind her. Alison, however, wonders who her mother was in the past. The picture of Sasha smiling with sad eyes speaks to the conflict she lived with for so many years, and her struggle to find herself authentically. This is no longer the woman Sasha is as Alison’s mother, and Alison wants to connect with her mother in a deeper way by understanding who her mother was in the past (while also perhaps just wishing her mother were as “cool” as she once was). Though Alison generally identifies more strongly with her father, she senses a connection with her mother as she looks at this image.

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Alison Blake Character Timeline in A Visit from the Goon Squad

The timeline below shows where the character Alison Blake appears in A Visit from the Goon Squad. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 12: Great Rock and Roll Pauses
Time and Memory Theme Icon
Connection, Disconnection, and Technology Theme Icon
...chapter is delivered in the form of a PowerPoint presentation created by Sasha’s 12-year-old daughter, Alison. It describes the events of May 14th and 15th of some year in the 2020s.... (full context)
Connection, Disconnection, and Technology Theme Icon
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The first section begins immediately after Lincoln plays a Little League game. Lincoln and Alison walk to the car together where their mother is waiting. Alison walks with her arm... (full context)
Time and Memory Theme Icon
Identity, Authenticity, and Meaning Theme Icon
Connection, Disconnection, and Technology Theme Icon
Fame, Art, and Popular Culture Theme Icon
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Alison is annoyed by her mother’s habit of repeating what other people say before they part... (full context)
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Identity, Authenticity, and Meaning Theme Icon
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...Drew, but is skinnier. He is obsessed with pauses in great rock and roll songs. Alison states that Lincoln knows more than grownups about a certain things. One of those things... (full context)
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...loops the pause in each song so it sounds like it lasts for minutes. When Alison’s friends are around, she ignores this, but when she is alone with Lincoln, she enjoys... (full context)
Identity, Authenticity, and Meaning Theme Icon
Connection, Disconnection, and Technology Theme Icon
...He is the boss, but in his free time he tries to check in with Alison. He struggles to connect with Lincoln. Alison believes that Lincoln wants to tell his father... (full context)
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The next slide brings the reader to Section 2, which describes Alison in her room. Another one of Sasha’s annoying habits is giving Alison a hard time... (full context)
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Identity, Authenticity, and Meaning Theme Icon
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Sasha looks at a toy horse in Alison’s room. She got the horse in Pakistan after reconnecting with Drew on Facebook and moving... (full context)
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Identity, Authenticity, and Meaning Theme Icon
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Alison notes that her mother is pretty and smiling with red hair, though her eyes look... (full context)
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When Alison is almost asleep, Lincoln comes into her room with a pair of headphones. He clamps... (full context)
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...negative attributes is darker in color, and outweighs the other side. The front door wakes Alison, and she peeks through the crack to where her parents are. They hug, but don’t... (full context)
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...Later.” Drew barbecues chicken on the deck, and they eat together at the picnic table. Alison thinks his dinners are better than Sasha’s, even when they cook the same thing. Drew... (full context)
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Alison knows the story of Rob’s drowning. After Rob drowned, Drew decided to become a doctor.... (full context)
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...analyzing different songs. Eventually, Drew yells at Lincoln to stop. Lincoln starts to cry, and Alison begins to cry, too. Drew tries to hug Lincoln, but he hunches into a ball.... (full context)
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The final section, Number 4, is titled, “The Desert.” Drew asks Alison to go for a walk with him. Drew tells her to be careful of snakes,... (full context)
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...old golf course with a collapsing clubhouse. Drew stands in a shallow hole and asks Alison if she remembers playing there. She notes that her father doesn’t have any friends, but... (full context)
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...at a field of solar panels that stretches on for miles. They look evil to Alison, but she knows they are mending the earth. They were built years ago after protests,... (full context)
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They stand a long time, and Alison thinks she never wants to go back home, that she wants to stay there with... (full context)
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...windows are dark. Drew points out a snake on one of Sasha’s sculptures. He lifts Alison onto his shoulder, and she thinks he is the strongest man in the world. The... (full context)
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Drew sets Alison down on the porch, and she runs inside. There is a light, and the familiar... (full context)