A Man Called Ove

A Man Called Ove Chapter 38 Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
The narrator says that there are two kinds of people: those who like things with white cables and fruit on the back, and those who don't. Jimmy is the first kind of person and Ove wishes he hadn't asked for his help in his current endeavor. When they get to the Apple store, Jimmy shuffles away to look at something and Ove verbally abuses a sales associate. When Ove's verbal assaults get very loud, Jimmy finally reappears and tells the sales associate that he's with Ove.
The story finally meets back up with the beginning at the Apple store. Finding Ove in an Apple store is indicative of his complete transformation over the course of the novel: he's willing to go way outside of his comfort zone to do something nice for someone else. Note too that an iPad would compromise Ove's principles, given his distrust of the Internet.
Themes
Love, Family, and Community Theme Icon
Principles, Fairness, and Loyalty Theme Icon
Ove waves a white cable at the sales associate and Jimmy insists that Ove means no harm. The sales associate tells Jimmy that Ove is interrogating him about the car he drives. He says he doesn't drive one. Ove turns to Jimmy and insists you can't reason with a person who doesn't own a car. Jimmy asks the associate to show Ove an iPad and the associate explains that he'd already tried to ask Ove which model he wanted. Jimmy translates the associate's computer speak for Ove and Ove finally yells that he wants the seven-year-old to have the best one. Jimmy rattles off a list of features and Ove purchases the iPad while cursing about not even getting a keyboard.
Ove is trying to use cars to gauge the character of the poor sales associate. The fact that the associate has no car then represents a lack of character in Ove's eyes. Ove's own age and the fact that he's mentally living in a time that no longer exists is obvious when he continues to gripe about the keyboard. His understanding of computers and technology definitely isn't caught up to modern times.
Themes
Memory and Grief Theme Icon
Principles, Fairness, and Loyalty Theme Icon
The seven-year-old gets an iPad for her eighth birthday and awkwardly thanks Ove and Jimmy. Jimmy heads for the cake and the seven-year-old strokes the iPad box. Ove leans down and says that he always felt this way when he got a new car. She hugs him, thanks him, and calls him "Granddad" before running to her room. Patrick limps towards her room to try to convince her to stay at the party, and Ove stands in the hallway for nearly 10 minutes.
Ove and the seven-year-old now have bonded over both houses and cars. Ove recognizes that the spark of joy and inspiration is the same in both him and the seven-year-old, regardless of what creates the spark. Ove's reverie suggests that he's still grieving somewhat, as it recalls his other times sitting in his house and losing track of time thinking about Sonja.
Themes
Rules and Order Theme Icon
Parvaneh interrupts Ove's reverie and offers him cake. Ove refuses and says he's going for a walk with the cat, who saunters into the hall with cake on its whiskers. Parvaneh confirms their driving lesson for the following day and Ove goes outside. He thinks that Sonja would've loved the party. He makes his regular round of the neighborhood and notices someone moving between Parvaneh's house and the house next door, whose residents are in Thailand. Ove hears the someone tapping the window with a hammer to break the glass.
Ove finally gets the opportunity to save his community from the burglars he's been watching for over the last 40 years. In this moment, Ove's love of community combines with both his desire to enforce rules and his principles to lead him to take on these burglars singlehanded.
Themes
Rules and Order Theme Icon
Love, Family, and Community Theme Icon
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Ove yells at the figures and runs towards them. He hits one of them and feels a stab in his chest. He thinks they managed to hit him until he realizes the pain is coming from inside his body. He falls to the ground and the pain squeezes his chest. The burglars run away and finally, Ove hears Parvaneh. Ove manages to make her promise to not let the ambulance drive in the residential area before he loses consciousness.
Ove's principles are still comically important to him if he's asking Parvaneh to enforce driving rules on what might be his own deathbed. This adds a humorous note to a tragic scene, and drives home the fact that not everything about Ove is going to change just because he's now accepted a community.
Themes
Principles, Fairness, and Loyalty Theme Icon