A Man Called Ove

A Man Called Ove Chapter 22 Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
Ove and the cat sit in the Saab outside the hospital. This is Ove's third trip to the hospital in a week and the cat looks disappointed. Earlier that morning, during the morning inspection, Ove found that the sign saying that vehicles are prohibited had been run over. Ove fetched his snow shovel and looked at Rune and Anita's house. The cat looked at Ove accusingly, and Ove yelled at the cat that the council won't come to a real conclusion about Rune for years because it has to go through the bureaucratic process first.
It's unclear why the cat is disappointed in Ove; past events show that Ove usually goes to the hospital unwillingly, but for honorable reasons that benefit his community, and the cat acts as a voice of reason and morality in Ove's head. Notice how Ove is prepared to fully trust that bureaucracy takes time and doesn't actually mean anything now. Even if Ove hates white shirts, the fact that their goals take so long to accomplish is comforting in this case.
Themes
Rules and Order Theme Icon
Love, Family, and Community Theme Icon
A bit later, as Ove shoveled snow, Lena reappeared and tried to talk to Ove. Ove locked himself in his house, but Lena continued to bang on his door and called him a hero. When she wouldn't stop, Ove opened the door and shushed her. She tried to walk inside, and Ove pushed her back out. Lena waved a camera at Ove as Ove and the cat walked to the parking area.
Like the cat or Parvaneh, Lena is forcing community and an interview-length period of companionship on Ove, though with significantly less success. Notice also that she's breaking all codes of polite conduct by trying to enter Ove's house without being invited.
Themes
Rules and Order Theme Icon
Love, Family, and Community Theme Icon
Principles, Fairness, and Loyalty Theme Icon
Fifteen minutes later, Parvaneh and Nasanin knocked on Ove's door. When Parvaneh heard voices from the parking area, she followed them and found Ove standing outside his garage door with the cat. She heard knocking from inside the garage and Ove looked away. Lena spoke from inside the garage and Parvaneh yelled at Ove about it not being okay to lock people in the garage. Ove grumpily explains that the woman is a journalist and won't leave him alone. Nasanin tells Ove he's naughty.
Ove is more than willing to break codes of polite conduct right back when he locks Lena in the garage. Ove's distress at Lena's insistence shows that maintaining his privacy by not doing the interview is exceptionally important to him. An interview about Ove's heroics would compromise Ove's hard-won image that he's a curmudgeon and loner.
Themes
Rules and Order Theme Icon
Principles, Fairness, and Loyalty Theme Icon
Parvaneh asks through the door why Lena wants to talk to Ove. Lena says that Ove is a hero and saved a man from a train yesterday. Parvaneh is awestruck and Nasanin starts to chase the cat around Ove's ankles. Ove mumbles a brief explanation of what happened at the train station and tells Parvaneh he can't get rid of Lena. Ove reaches down and grabs Nasanin, who bursts into laughter. He asks Parvaneh why they've come, and she explains that they're taking the bus to the hospital to pick up Patrick and Jimmy. Lena yells for them to talk louder, and Parvaneh tells Ove that if he gives her a ride to the hospital, she'll get rid of Lena. Ove agrees.
Here, Parvaneh again manipulates Ove's love of rules and fairness to save him (for the time being) and force him to do the right thing by taking her to the hospital. As we learn that Sonja's accident had to do with a bus, Ove's desire to keep Parvaneh from taking the bus takes on more weight now, as it can be read as an attempt to protect Parvaneh from whatever happened to Sonja. Even as Ove behaves rudely and acts as though he doesn't care about people, this shows that he actually does care.
Themes
Rules and Order Theme Icon
Love, Family, and Community Theme Icon
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The narrator explains that all this is why Ove is at the hospital for the third time in a week. The cat looks disappointed that it had to ride with Nasanin in the back seat. Parvaneh had given Lena a business card and instructed her to call her to talk about Ove. Ove feels that was a poor move and feels blackmailed.
Ove believes that Parvaneh barely saved him, but his sense of fairness and principles keeps him from going back on his promise to drive them to the hospital.
Themes
Love, Family, and Community Theme Icon
Principles, Fairness, and Loyalty Theme Icon
The cat keeps looking at Ove with a look that reminds Ove of Sonja. Ove tells the cat again that the council won't take Rune away for years and reminds the cat that it has Ove to thank for the fact that it doesn't currently live with Nasanin. The cat goes to sleep and Ove thinks he knows that Nasanin certainly isn't allergic to cats—but that Parvaneh lied so Ove would take the cat.
Ove's assertion that the cat reminds him of Sonja reinforces the idea that the cat acts as a way for Ove to more productively think about the lessons that Sonja taught him. Again, Ove is very intent on reminding the cat that the bureaucracy takes time and there's nothing to worry about, which raises the question of whether Ove is just trying to convince himself so he can avoid a confrontation with Rune.
Themes
Memory and Grief Theme Icon
Rules and Order Theme Icon