A Man Called Ove

A Man Called Ove Chapter 34 Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
Ove brings a deck chair to Sonja's grave so he can take his time telling her "something she doesn't like." The narrator explains that over the last forty years, many different people lived in the house between Ove and Rune. Ove and Rune could always agree that the current residents of the house were imbeciles. One summer in the early ‘90s, three young men rented the house and held loud parties that went on for hours. The last straw was when they threw a bottle through Rune and Anita's window. Ove saw Rune with a small bag one night and the next day, the three men were arrested for drug possession. Rune mentioned to Ove the next day that you can buy drugs on the street behind the train station.
As the house between Ove and Rune has been inhabited by a variety of individuals over the years, it's suggested that none of them had the long-term housing goals that Ove and Rune had. They more likely fell into Ove's despised category of people who change things whenever they feel like it. Rune wasn't above breaking the rules to make things right and safe in the neighborhood, which suggests his principles were somewhat more easily compromised than Ove's.
Themes
Memory and Grief Theme Icon
Rules and Order Theme Icon
Love, Family, and Community Theme Icon
Principles, Fairness, and Loyalty Theme Icon
In the mid-‘90s, a woman moved in with a chubby nine-year-old boy and her new boyfriend, a man with bad breath and a bull neck. Anita and Sonja tried to ignore the shouting they heard coming from the house, but began to notice bruises on the woman. When Ove heard the boy pleading one night for the man to stop yelling, he went outside and found Rune waiting. Ove and Rune hadn't spoken for a year, but rang the doorbell together and punched the bullnecked man. The man left the next day and never returned. A few weeks later, Ove and Rune bought the house for the woman. The woman stayed in the house with her son, Jimmy.
Anita and Sonja tried to respect the privacy of the woman in the house until they realized that the man with her was a direct threat to the safety and happiness of the community. Against such a threat, Ove and Rune were able to put aside their differences, which shows that the two men did (and do) care very much for the wellbeing of the community. Their gift of the house is extremely generous, but it also represents their desires for sameness in the neighborhood; it ensures no new neighbors.
Themes
Love, Family, and Community Theme Icon
Principles, Fairness, and Loyalty Theme Icon
Back in the present at Sonja's grave, Ove tells Sonja he thought he'd have more time, and that she has to understand the situation. Earlier that morning, Ove called Social Services from Parvaneh's house and spoke with the man in the white shirt about Rune. The conversation went poorly from the start: Ove insulted the man's ability to read signs, told the man that he couldn't take Rune out of his home, and then the man told Ove that there was nothing he could do and hung up.
Inserting the flashback of Jimmy, his mother, and the abusive boyfriend at this point in the story begins to align the present man in the white shirt with terrible people like the boyfriend. Their goals are to break apart the community and strike fear in the residents, something that Ove is simply not willing to stand for.
Themes
Memory and Grief Theme Icon
Love, Family, and Community Theme Icon
Ove, angry, yelled that they needed a new plan. Patrick hobbled out the door and came back again a few minutes later with Anders and Jimmy. Anders hesitantly explained that he owns a towing company and also that he broke up with Blond Weed. Later that afternoon, when the man in the white shirt returned with police to get his Škoda unblocked, the trailer and the Škoda were both gone. The man lost his composure and cursed at Ove, and Ove never mentioned that the Škoda had been dumped in a gravel pit. Ove only said that his memory was faulty and that there's still nothing on TV. An hour later, Anita opened her door to a courier with a letter confirming the date and time of Rune's "transfer into care."
Ove now has to reevaluate his thoughts about Anders: he may drive an Audi, but he has a useful job and finally seems to have some sense about choosing good partners. The fact that Patrick is able to know who in the neighborhood to call on after living in it for only a week shows again how different he is from Ove. He made the effort and has a greater sense of community in one week than Ove has after living here for almost forty years.
Themes
Love, Family, and Community Theme Icon
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Now, Ove tells Sonja's grave that she's going to have to wait for him because he doesn't have time to die right now. He replaces her pink flowers and heads back to the parking lot, muttering that there's a war on.
This fight gives Ove purpose and a reason to live, something that would surely please Sonja to know. He's finally moving past his grief and is no longer allowing Sonja's memory to control him.
Themes
Memory and Grief Theme Icon
Principles, Fairness, and Loyalty Theme Icon