Pauses serve a symbolic function in A Visit from the Goon Squad, pointing readers toward the passage of time, and imitating the ups and downs of the characters’ lives. Structurally, the interwoven narratives in the novel are often put on pause and returned to after time has passed. In this way, the novel imitates an album. These pauses, however, are not static. The pauses are packed with meaning. Within them, story continues to unfold, and characters continue to develop.
Pauses often point toward the idea of life and death. In the story “Great Rock and Roll Pauses,” Sasha suggests that pauses in rock music make you think the song will end, and one is relieved that they keep going. So many of the novel’s characters have this experience in their lives. They believe they are ruined, that they will never regain their lives, but often times they are just experiencing pauses in their relationships, health, or careers. Moments of pause within the stories are often moments of reflection and connection for these characters, an opportunity to reflect on the way in which things have changed. Like an album, these characters pause between the songs of their lived experience. For some, the album continues, and for others it comes to an end.
Pauses Quotes in A Visit from the Goon Squad
At last he found Rebecca, smiling, holding Cara-Ann in her arms. She was dancing. They were too far away for Alex to reach them, and the distance felt irrevocable, a chasm that would keep him from ever again touching the delicate silk of Rebecca's eyelids, or feeling, through his daughter's ribs, the scramble of her heartbeat. Without the zoom, he couldn't even see them. In desperation, he T'd Rebecca, pls wAt 4me, my bUtiful wyf, then kept his zoom trained on her face until he saw her register the vibration, pause in her dancing, and reach for it.