A Man Called Ove

A Man Called Ove Chapter 25 Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
After breakfast, Ove lets the cat out and finds a plastic bottle of pills in the bathroom. The narrator explains that doctors prescribed a number of painkillers for Sonja near the end and Ove still has a lot of them. It has occurred to him that they're a convenient way to kill oneself. He hears the cat yelling outside and wonders how death by painkillers will feel. The cat's cries intensify and Ove thinks of Sonja and how he doesn't know how to live without her. He arranges the pills along the edge of the sink and notices that the cat is crying even louder now. Ove hears a dog bark, the cat cry in pain, and Blond Weed yell.
Ove is brought back from his suicide attempt by a cry for help in the real world. His desire to save the cat from Blond Weed is indicative of Ove's kindness and his growing desire to protect individuals in the community, while ridding the community of intruders (like Blond Weed and the man in the white shirt). Ove is learning that this is how he'll have to live without Sonja. It's already proven impossible to live without her alone.
Themes
Memory and Grief Theme Icon
Love, Family, and Community Theme Icon
Ove tries to ignore the sounds outside, fails, and puts the pills back in the bottle. As he passes a window, he sees Blond Weed rush towards the cat. Ove opens his front door just as she's about to kick the cat. The cat runs and Weed stammers that the cat needs to die because it scratched Prince. Ove says nothing and looks dangerously angry. Blond Weed calls Prince and walks away, and Ove calls the cat to come inside.
After saving the cat, Ove truly invites the cat inside as though it belongs and Ove wants it to be there. This is a major shift, and illustrates Ove's growing sense that he (and the cat) are valuable and useful parts of the community. Ove is also finding purpose as he defends the cat from Blond Weed.
Themes
Love, Family, and Community Theme Icon
Principles, Fairness, and Loyalty Theme Icon
Ove notices that he's positioned all the photographs of Sonja so that she seems to follow him through the house. When Ove picks up the pill bottle, the cat looks at him with a horrified expression. Ove puts the bottle away and drinks his coffee while the cat drinks water. They head back outside and Ove thinks that maybe he can wait an hour to die.
Without thinking, Ove surrounds himself with tangible memories of Sonja by arranging her photographs this way. This means that he never has a moment to disengage from her. It's a way of keeping her memory alive and remaining faithful to her.
Themes
Memory and Grief Theme Icon
Ove and the cat knock on Rune's door. Rune finally answers. Ove asks Rune for corrugated iron, but Rune only stares for a minute. Rune asks, "Ove?" and smiles. Ove tells Rune he looks old, and Anita appears next to Rune, sounding terrified. She looks small, gray, and as though she's been crying. She leads Rune back to his wheelchair and then asks Ove what he needs. She's confused by his request for corrugated iron and finally tells Ove that he can look through Rune's shed for some.
Though Rune's memory is faulty, he remembers Ove's name and smiles: a testament to the quiet friendship the men once shared. Now, Ove is calling on others in the community for help, which continues to show how he's becoming integrated into the neighborhood on his own terms, not because Sonja forced him to be nice.
Themes
Memory and Grief Theme Icon
Love, Family, and Community Theme Icon
Related Quotes
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A few minutes later, Ove reappears in the doorway with a surprisingly huge piece of corrugated iron. Rune smiles and waves at Ove from the window, and Anita tells Ove again that Social Services wants to take Rune away from her. She tells Ove that Rune will die if that happens. Ove suggests that Anita's son can come and help, but Anita explains that their son lives in America and is very busy. She turns to go back inside and Ove mutters to her that if she needs help with the radiators, she can ask him for help. Anita smiles and Ove disappears around the corner.
Anita's distress about Social Services suggests that Ove might not be as correct in assuming that there's time to spare as he'd like to think. Notice that he encourages Anita to turn to biological family for help. This shows that Ove believes that one's nuclear family is the first line of defense and assistance, though Anita's response makes it clear that Ove's belief is idealistic at best.
Themes
Rules and Order Theme Icon
Love, Family, and Community Theme Icon
Ove finds his spare car battery and some metal clips. He lays out the iron on the paving stones, covers it with snow, and hooks it to the battery. Ove admires his handiwork and thinks of the shock that Blond Weed's dog will get when it tries to pee on his paving stones. The cat gives Ove a look and Ove dismantles his trap. The narrator explains that it had been a while since Ove was reminded of the difference between being mean for sport or because you have to be.
Even though Blond Weed's dog has made the cat bleed, the cat's look shows that the cat is truly the bigger “person” here. It's able to pass this onto Ove as well and encourage him to stick to his principles and not act out of spite. Here, the act of not doing something shows growth for Ove.
Themes
Principles, Fairness, and Loyalty Theme Icon