A Man Called Ove

A Man Called Ove Chapter 15 Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
Ove is at the train station, arguing with a man covered in tattoos about whether or not the ticket machine is working. Ove insists it isn't, but the man insists Ove just has dirt on his card's magnetic strip. The man asks for Ove's card, rubs it against his pants, and gives it back. The machine works and Ove feels betrayed by his card. The narrator explains that Ove thinks cash is just fine, but Sonja had insisted on a prepaid debit card. After her death, the bank sent Ove a card connected to her account, which he has used to buy her flowers for the last six months.
The debit card again represents modernity that Ove doesn't find wonderful or useful. Here it means that Ove is wrong, which is understandably offensive and uncomfortable for him. Sonja's desire for a debit card, however, suggests that she was willing and able to adapt to the changing times. She didn't allow memories of the past to keep her from moving forward.
Themes
Memory and Grief Theme Icon
Principles, Fairness, and Loyalty Theme Icon
Ove had prepared his house for his death and not noticed the cat-shaped hole in the snow outside his shed. He'd walked to the train station so that there was less chance of someone or something ruining his plan. He thinks that Sonja had always been terrible at sticking to plans. While Ove made schedules and detailed maps, she insisted that they weren't in a hurry (which wasn't the point) and regularly forgot the coffee thermos.
We see again how Sonja didn't allow rules and structure to take away from her enjoyment of life. She insisted on enjoying their journeys rather than making the journeys about sticking fully to Ove's schedule. Ove's principles, on the other hand, dictate that there's nothing more important than the schedule, as it provides the structure he craves.
Themes
Memory and Grief Theme Icon
Rules and Order Theme Icon
Principles, Fairness, and Loyalty Theme Icon
As Ove stands on the train platform, he studies the other people. There are youths with backpacks that Ove thinks must contain drugs, a middle-aged man, women from the council, and three municipal employees studying a hole in the pavement. As he looks at the workers eating and doing nothing about the hole, Ove thinks it's no wonder that the world is suffering a financial crisis.
Ove doesn't think highly of anyone: the youths must be criminals, and the municipal employees are wholly useless. They represent the changing times and the fact that the world isn't as it once was, and that in turn explains why the world is in such a state (hence the reference to the financial crisis).
Themes
Memory and Grief Theme Icon
The train will arrive in one minute. Ove stands at the edge of the platform and thinks that he doesn't like the symbolism of dying by train. He hears a scream and looks up to see the middle-aged man sway, twitch, and fall onto the tracks. Fuming, Ove jumps down onto the track and yells at the youths to help him get the unconscious man onto the platform. Ove stays on the tracks. He walks to the middle and stares down the approaching train. Ove’s eyes meet the eyes of the train conductor, a young man of maybe 20. Ove swears and jumps back onto the platform.
Besides being messy, dying by train means that Ove's life will be taken by the exact thing that gave him a life as a youth. When Ove saves the man in the suit, he places doing the right thing and helping people above adhering to his plan and his rules. Notice too that as Ove saves the man, he mobilizes others on the platform to work together to do so. Ove is a natural leader when there's a task to be done.
Themes
Rules and Order Theme Icon
Love, Family, and Community Theme Icon
Principles, Fairness, and Loyalty Theme Icon
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Ove meets the driver's eyes again as the train stops. The driver looks horrified. Ove thinks that he couldn't ruin the man's day by committing suicide after meeting his eyes. The municipal workers tell Ove that he's a hero, and Ove corrects their grammar. As passengers and IT consultants get off the train, Ove turns and walks home.
Here, Ove's principles actually prioritize the feelings of others, which hints at the possibility that Ove is beginning to think more about the people around him. He still thinks less of them, however, as evidenced by his cynical mention of IT consultants.
Themes
Love, Family, and Community Theme Icon
Principles, Fairness, and Loyalty Theme Icon
As Ove walks by the bicycle shed, he sees the white Škoda. In addition to the man in the white shirt, there's a woman in a white shirt in the car. The man nearly runs Ove over as he passes him. Ove yells obscenities after the car. Blond Weed appears behind Ove and hisses that soon it'll be his turn. She says the car is from Social Services and soon both Ove and Rune will be placed in homes. Weed gets into Anders' Audi and Ove wants to destroy the car, but he suddenly feels out of breath. When he recovers, he heads back to his house and notices the cat-shaped hole in the snow and the cat at the bottom of it.
Blond Weed seems to have no motivation other than the personal satisfaction she gets from being cruel to Ove, Rune, and the cat. This puts her on a level with Tom. Both of them despise community and wish to actively destroy it by taking down individuals within the community. Ove's breathlessness suggests that the congenital heart defect that the army found still plagues him.
Themes
Principles, Fairness, and Loyalty Theme Icon