A Man Called Ove

A Man Called Ove Chapter 11 Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
When Ove leaves his house for his inspection the next morning, the ground is covered in snow. Ove notices the cat sitting by his door and tries to scare it away. The cat is unconcerned with Ove's yelling and stomping. Ove kicks one of his clogs towards the cat and thinks that Sonja would've been furious. The cat continues to not care, and strolls away. After Ove's inspection, he digs his snow shovel out of the shed.
Like Parvaneh, the cat is entirely unconcerned with Ove's grumpiness. Here, the thought of what Sonja would think works similarly to how Ove considered what his father would do in the flashbacks. Ove uses his community from the past to think about his actions in the present.
Themes
Memory and Grief Theme Icon
Love, Family, and Community Theme Icon
The cat is back when Ove comes out of his shed. Ove notices that it has more bald patches than fur and throws some snow at it. The cat looks offended and leaves. Ove shovels his walkway carefully and thinks that people don't shovel carefully anymore, they just want to get ahead. He watches the sunrise and thinks of how to die. His current plan is a bad one, but necessary to get the job done. Ove goes inside, puts on his good suit, and prepares his house for his death.
Ove's musings on people's snow shoveling habits illustrate again how he conceptualizes the younger generation. In his eyes, they do things carelessly and don't really value a job well done. Ove obviously wants to die very badly if he's going with a self-described subpar plan. He's valuing the end result rather than the job well done in this case.
Themes
Memory and Grief Theme Icon
Rules and Order Theme Icon
Love, Family, and Community Theme Icon
Principles, Fairness, and Loyalty Theme Icon
Ove fetches a plastic tube out of his shed and heads towards his garage. A white Škoda races into the residential area and takes Ove entirely by surprise. Ove roars at the driver to read the sign indicating that motor vehicles are prohibited and approaches the car. The man in the white shirt in the car has his window down to smoke, but rolls it up as Ove approaches. The man rolls towards the main road.
Škodas are foreign cars, which makes this particular man in a white shirt a horrible person in Ove's opinion, even knowing nothing else about him. This man also doesn’t abide by the clearly stated neighborhood rules, which makes him even worse to Ove.
Themes
Rules and Order Theme Icon
Principles, Fairness, and Loyalty Theme Icon
Ove angrily walks to where the Škoda was parked in front of Rune and Anita's house. He picks up cigarette butts that the driver threw on the ground. Anita appears, greets Ove, and explains that the man is from the council and has special permission to drive in the residential area. Ove tries to argue, but Anita looks ready to cry and says that the council wants to take Rune away from her. Ove says nothing but walks back towards his own house.
When Ove picks up the cigarette butts, it calls into question the narrator's earlier assertion that Ove didn't care about garbage. He cares about garbage when it's litter and affecting the people in the neighborhood. The man in the white shirt is following rules that go above Ove's rules, which understandably doesn't sit well with Ove.
Themes
Rules and Order Theme Icon
Love, Family, and Community Theme Icon
Get the entire A Man Called Ove LitChart as a printable PDF.
A man called ove.pdf.medium
Blond Weed stands in the street while her dog barks. Ove doesn't like the satisfied grin on her face. Patrick calls out a greeting to Ove. Ove notices that Patrick is holding a butter knife and likely intends to use it to open his jammed window. The ladder is improperly shoved into a snowdrift outside. Ove mutters an answer and keeps walking. He looks again at Weed and her dog and feels disturbed, though he's reluctant to admit that he's worried about the cat.
Ove is entirely overwhelmed by the teeming community surrounding him, though his concern about the cat suggests that Ove isn't as disconnected as he'd like everyone to think. Patrick again shows that he's hopeless when it comes to practical skills, but in Ove's overwhelmed state, he's unable to tell Patrick he's doing it wrong.
Themes
Love, Family, and Community Theme Icon
Principles, Fairness, and Loyalty Theme Icon
Ove enters his garage and studies his Saab. He looks over his shoulder and hopes that nothing happened to the cat, because he knows Sonja will be very upset if something happened. Ove hears an ambulance siren but pays no attention. He starts his car and threads his plastic tube onto his exhaust pipe and then into a back window of the Saab. Ove gets in the Saab and thinks that "until death do us part" was talking about his death, not Sonja's. Ove ignores the banging on his garage door and wonders if Sonja will be ashamed to see him turn up unemployed and wearing a dirty suit.
These concerns about what Sonja will think about Ove show how loyal Ove still is to Sonja, even when she's gone. He uses her memory to try to behave to a certain standard that would make her proud. This shows that memory isn't just something that's oppressing Ove; Ove's concerns about the cat in particular show that Sonja's memory also has the potential to drive him to do good things.
Themes
Memory and Grief Theme Icon
Rules and Order Theme Icon
Love, Family, and Community Theme Icon
Principles, Fairness, and Loyalty Theme Icon
The banging persists, and finally Ove yells, gets out of his car, and opens the door hard into Parvaneh's face. She's shocked at the exhaust billowing out of the garage and asks Ove what he's doing. Her nose begins to bleed and she tells Ove she needs a ride to the hospital. Ove informs her that her nosebleed isn't that bad, and Parvaneh curses and explains that Patrick fell off the ladder. She couldn't accompany him in the ambulance, doesn't have a driver's license, all the taxis are in use, and the buses are running slow. Ove darkens and says quietly that bus drivers are always drunk and not trustworthy.
Once again, Ove expects that Parvaneh is thinking only about herself and not about someone else in the community. Ove's comment about bus drivers suggests that there are specific types of people that Ove believes to be particularly untrustworthy, though at this point it's unclear why bus drivers fit in this category. However, this creates a situation in which Ove must choose to follow his principles by not allowing Parvaneh to take the bus.
Themes
Love, Family, and Community Theme Icon
Principles, Fairness, and Loyalty Theme Icon
Parvaneh jumps on Ove's discomfort and insists that he drive her and the children to the hospital. She walks away as though the matter is settled as Ove roars indignantly about having to drive children. He thinks of what Sonja would've said if she'd been there, and then pulls the tube off his exhaust pipe and pulls out into the parking area.
The thought of Sonja now makes Ove engage with his community and do good deeds for them. By agreeing to drive Parvaneh and the children, Ove insures that Sonja will approve and that bus drivers won't get the satisfaction of more passengers.
Themes
Memory and Grief Theme Icon
Love, Family, and Community Theme Icon